Legal Aid, Accessible Courts or Legal Information? Three Access to Justice Strategies Compared

TISCO Working Paper Series on Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems No. 010/2010

Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 24/2010

Global Jurist, Vol. 11, Issue 1, January 2011

19 Pages Posted: 13 Nov 2010 Last revised: 5 Oct 2011

See all articles by Maurits Barendrecht

Maurits Barendrecht

Tilburg Law School; HiiL Innovating Justice

Date Written: November 10, 2010

Abstract

Access to justice can be enhanced in many ways. What is the most effective way to do this, given limited resources? Three perspectives are used to compare access to justice policies: (1) costs and benefits, (2) transaction costs (diminishing market failure and government failure), and (3) legal empowerment (enhancing people’s control over their lives and their bargaining position). The analysis suggests that legal information and education strategies should have a higher priority, followed by improving access to (informal) adjudication. Civil legal aid on an individual basis is a rather costly strategy. Moreover, legal aid is less likely to create just outcomes on its own: A judge without a lawyer is more valuable than a lawyer without a judge.

Keywords: legal aid, legal information, court procedure, transaction costs, legal empowerment

JEL Classification: K41, L84, O17

Suggested Citation

Barendrecht, Maurits, Legal Aid, Accessible Courts or Legal Information? Three Access to Justice Strategies Compared (November 10, 2010). TISCO Working Paper Series on Civil Law and Conflict Resolution Systems No. 010/2010; Tilburg Law School Research Paper No. 24/2010; Global Jurist, Vol. 11, Issue 1, January 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1706825

Maurits Barendrecht (Contact Author)

Tilburg Law School ( email )

P.O. Box 90153
NL-5000 LE Tilburg
Netherlands
0031134662298 (Phone)

HiiL Innovating Justice ( email )

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

HOME PAGE: http://www.hiil.org

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