Wednesday, June 22, 2005

ADB Special Review on Access to Justice

In line with recent interest in access to justice and legal empowerment, as as a follow up to its Law Reform symposium earlier this year in January, ADB Review has published an online special issue focussed on Access to Justicehighlighting developments in reform and access to justice in the region. I especially like reading the Review series because of its on-the-ground, country-based focus (not to mention its magazine style and photos!). While it is still fairly typical of the top-down approaches adopted by the Banks, I do witness more of an effort to include women and other minority groups into the discussions.

Articles include:
  • The Unbroken Line of Law- Creating the conditions for economic growth and poverty reduction necessitates legal reforms that take into account all aspects of the rule of law
  • Paying for Justice- Three justice experts discuss the importance of the connection between judicial reforms and the progress of development in Asia and the Pacific
  • Better Policing- Tackling the problems besetting the Bangladeshi police services means overcoming a long history and great shortage of funding
  • Justice for All- Justice system reforms in Pakistan are helping strengthen legal protection for all particularly the poor and vulnerable and reduce delays in court
  • Gender Justice- A leading Indian academic highlights the need for gender perspectives in law reform
  • More articles 
    • The Quest for Justice 
    • New Era for Pakistan's Police 
    • Laws to Favor the Poor 
    • Bringing Justice to the Poor
    • Climate for Change 
    • Court Boosts Lao PDR Banks 
    • Cleaning Up Corruption 
    • Better Justice 
    • Land of Their Own 
    • Guarding Prisoners in Transport
You can access this ADB Review on Access to Justice articles online, or download the pdf

Monday, June 20, 2005

Global Voices Online- a Project to follow

In my recent trip to Asia which included the Cambodia, Thailand and Nepal, I specifically asked our local partners to point me to local bloggers. I'm struck by how many people are using blogs, even if usually not for purposes outside of personal journaling. This reminded me of the blogging conference at Harvard last year, and I looked online to check its outcome. I'm impressed by how much has happened in a mere six months!

If you are a blogger, especially one from a developing or non-western country, get involved!

Quick facts:

  • Global Voices Online was developed out of the one-day blogging track as part of harvard's Internet and Society 2004 conference. I posted a couple of briefs about these two events below. This blogging conference was led by Ethan Zuckerman (technologist and Africa expert) and Rebecca MacKinnon (former CNN Beijing and Tokyo Bureau Chief), both Berkan Center Research Fellows. 

  • A very "Rebecca Mackinnon, CNN"-like podcast about the importance of global blogging and the voices of non-western bloggers assessed on the Harvard webspace here (interesting interviews with bloggers from China, Iraq, Kenya and other countries. who were at the conference).
  • Global Voices online is now at instead of in addition to the longer Harvard url: If you would like to get involved (and it seems to be a very inclusive project), look out for the announcements for input and participation. 
  • Technologically, it now uses an rss aggregator to track recommended blogs from around the world, but there is a call for you to 
    • Start publishing a roundup on your own blog 
    • Translating posts and other documents into English
    • Let them know about good global blogs, so they can include it in the aggregator and index (if not already)
  • Global Voices also produced a Manifesto authored collaboratively by the people at the blogging conference (note: In light with Global Voices' mandate, they are asking for translators for this manifesto via the Global Voices wiki):

Global Voices Manifesto:

We believe in free speech: in protecting the right to speak — and the right to listen. We believe in universal access to the tools of speech.
To that end, we seek to enable everyone who wants to speak to have the means to speak — and everyone who wants to hear that speech, the means to listen to it.
Thanks to new tools, speech need no longer be controlled by those who own the means of publishing and distribution, or by governments that would restrict thought and communication. Now, anyone can wield the power of the press. Everyone can tell their stories to the world.
We seek to build bridges across the gulfs that divide people, so as to understand each other more fully. We seek to work together more effectively, and act more powerfully.
We believe in the power of direct connection. The bond between individuals from different worlds is personal, political and powerful. We believe conversation across boundaries is essential to a future that is free, fair, prosperous and sustainable - for all citizens of this planet.
While we continue to work and speak as individuals, we also seek to identify and promote our shared interests and goals. We pledge to respect, assist, teach, learn from, and listen to one other.
We are Global Voices.
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