Legal Needs of Vulnerable People: A Study in Azerbaijan, Mali, Rwanda, Egypt and Bangladesh

27 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2010

See all articles by Martin Gramatikov

Martin Gramatikov

Tilburg Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems (TISCO); Tilburg University - Private Law Department and Faculty of Law; Tilburg Law School

Jin Ho Verdonschot

Tilburg University - TISCO; Tilburg University - Faculty of Law

Date Written: October 12, 2010

Abstract

In this paper we study the legal needs of groups of vulnerable people in five developing countries: Azerbaijan, Mali, Rwanda, Egypt and Bangladesh. Our first objective is to explore the legal problems which are encountered by vulnerable people in these societies. Second, our study looks at the impact of these problems on the lives of the disadvantaged groups. Third, we aim to find out how the vulnerable people respond to existing legal problems. A combination of quantitative and qualitative methods were employed to study the experiences of beneficiaries of non-profit legal aid providers in the five countries.

The major finding of the study is that the vulnerable people experience clusters of legal problems which are most often triggered by dysfunctional relationships. Rarely the disadvantaged experience single instances of legal problems. Their lives are entangled into complex chains of problems. When important relationships break down the vulnerable people often see a looming wave of interrelated legal problems. Understanding the interconnectedness between the problems and their causal effects is key for the design of intervention programs and access to justice policies. Legal problems also occur throughout foreseeable life stages. At different stages of their lives, vulnerable people are more likely to experience the negative impact of particular legal problems. Another finding is that urgent and overwhelming legal problems present distinguishable ‘cover’ effects. People and specifically vulnerable people who have limited coping capacities are likely to focus on imminent problems at the expense of less threatening issues. Learning how to deal with cover effects might have important implications for access to justice research and policies.

Keywords: access to justice, legal needs, justiciable events

JEL Classification: K20, D63, D74, I32, J70, O10,

Suggested Citation

Gramatikov, Martin and Verdonschot, Jin Ho, Legal Needs of Vulnerable People: A Study in Azerbaijan, Mali, Rwanda, Egypt and Bangladesh (October 12, 2010). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1691197

Martin Gramatikov (Contact Author)

Tilburg Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies of Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems (TISCO) ( email )

Warandelaan 2
P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/webwijs/show/?uid=m.a.gramatikov

Tilburg University - Private Law Department and Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, DC 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31 13 466 2980 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/webwijs/show/?uid=m.a.gramatikov

Tilburg Law School ( email )

Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
+31134662980 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.edu/webwijs/show/?uid=m.a.gramatikov

Jin Ho Verdonschot

Tilburg University - TISCO ( email )

Warandelaan 2
P.O. Box 90153
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
0031134668764 (Phone)
0031134662323 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/webwijs/show/?uid=j.h.verdonschot

Tilburg University - Faculty of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
0031134668764 (Phone)
0031134662323 (Fax)

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