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Article: "Beyond Legal Empowerment: Improving Access to Justice from the Human Rights Perspective" in The International Journal of Human Rights", Vol. 19, Issue 3, pages 242-259.

10 Jun 2015


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  • Title: Beyond Lefal Empowerment: Improving Access to Justice from the Human Rights Perspective
  • Author(S): Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona and Kate Donald
  • Date: 10 Jun 2015
  • Publication: The International Journal of Human Rights

Abstract: The authors argue that legal empowerment during political transitions must take into account the numerous and varied obstacles that people living in poverty face in accessing justice. Challenging impunity and strengthening justice require explicitly targeting power asymmetries and addressing obstacles that are social, cultural, financial and systemic in nature. The article examines different types of legal empowerment and access to justice programmes, highlighting their benefits and challenges from a human rights perspective. Finally, it draws lessons from existing programmes for practitioners and policymakers working to improve access to justice in transitional contexts.

Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona is Senior Research Fellow at UNRISD. Kate Donald works at the Center for Economic and Social Rights.

© The International Journal of Human Rights