Legal Literacy: A Tool for Empowerment
Social Action Published by Social Action Trust, Indian Social Institute, New Delhi, 2008
14 Pages Posted: 31 May 2017
Date Written: April 1, 2008
Law is a double-edged instrument that may be used to enhance people’s access to justice as also to sanction regressionary trends or to legitimise practices that marginalise a set of people within a democratic set up . The beneficial aspects of law lie in the fact that it provides a platform to the marginalised people in society to raise their concerns. People-centered legal system empowers the marginalized in a manner to use the justice delivery mechanism effectively and efficiently in order to establish the rule of law and in long run may acts to establish people’s faith in law and governance. However, to utilize law as an instrument to social transformation it is essential to disseminate basic knowledge about the concepts and procedures of law. Legal literacy is a tool to empowerment that helps to demystify law besides enabling the process of law reform as well as social change. This paper focuses on the legal literacy efforts being carried out to empower people to participate in the process of law making, its implementation and looks at the significance of the role of law and legal literacy in bringing out social transformation. It explores the author’s own engagement with the law as an advocate, as an activist and as a trainer and delves on her personal experiences with various sets of people ranging from bureaucrats to social workers working at the grassroot level to illiterate women and their perception of law as well as legal system.
Keywords: Law, Legal Literacy, India, Social Action, Activism, Access to Justice, State, Common People, Civil Society
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