Rättvisans entreprenörer: Mobilisering för tillgång till rättvisa i civilsamhället (Entrepreneurs of justice: Mobilisation for access to justice in civil society)

In: Anna Wallerman Ghavanini and Sebastian Wejedal (eds.): Access to justice i Skandinavien, Santérus Academic Press, 2022, pages 361–390.

38 Pages Posted: 5 Jan 2023 Last revised: 29 Nov 2023

See all articles by Johan Karlsson Schaffer

Johan Karlsson Schaffer

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies; University of Oslo - Faculty of Law

Date Written: May 10, 2022

Abstract

What role can civil society groups play in securing access to justice? The notion of access to justice (ATJ) addresses the gap between ’law on the books’ and the rights citizens actually enjoy. To overcome that gap, ATJ requires actors that can help individuals claim the rights they have.

Over the past two decades, a diverse ATJ ecosystem has emerged in Sweden. It consists of organisations, groups and persons that serve to provide individuals with legal aid and engage in strategic public interest litigation. The ecosystem includes a network of semi-public local antidiscrimination bureaus, law firms specialising in civil rights and human rights organisations, as well as interest organisations adopting legal mobilisation strategies. This ecosystem is a new phenomenon in Scandinavia – a context often said to be inhospitable to legal mobilisation in civil society due to prevailing politico-legal culture and institutions.

Adopting a legal complex theory, this chapter analyses the emergence of this ecosystem of civil society actors functioning as independent providers of access to justice in Sweden. The analysis focuses on three civil society groups that have emerged as key agents since the 2000s: (1) a network of local anti-discrimination bureaus that emerged through a combination of grassroots initiatives and state funding and regulation; (2) Civil Rights Defenders (formerly the Swedish Helsinki Committee), which has expanded its domestic legal activities; and (3) Centrum för Rättvisa (Centre for Justice), a public interest law firm that has brought numerous lawsuits for civil rights against public authorities. Based on a set of semi-structured interviews, the chapter also identifies how key actors in the ecosystem experience constraints and opportunities for providing access to justice in Sweden.

Note: Downloadable document is in Swedish.

Keywords: legal mobilisation, access to justice, the legal complex, human rights, antidiscrimination, civil society, Sweden, Scandinavia

Suggested Citation

Karlsson Schaffer, Johan, Rättvisans entreprenörer: Mobilisering för tillgång till rättvisa i civilsamhället (Entrepreneurs of justice: Mobilisation for access to justice in civil society) (May 10, 2022). In: Anna Wallerman Ghavanini and Sebastian Wejedal (eds.): Access to justice i Skandinavien, Santérus Academic Press, 2022, pages 361–390., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4308583

Johan Karlsson Schaffer (Contact Author)

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies ( email )

POB 700
Gothenburg, SE 40530
Sweden

University of Oslo - Faculty of Law ( email )

PO Box 6706 St Olavsplass
Oslo, 0130
Norway

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
24
Abstract Views
205
PlumX Metrics