- Relevance: Access to justice work has gained momentum in the last few years, and technology moves at the speed of light. So, I will try to keep this page and the blog as updated as I can. But at any one point in time, I have many projects on my hand, so if there are glaring omissions or mistakes, do let me know by email or other forms of contact.
- Blog funkiness: This blog has a long history, starting from LifeJournal times (yes, sooo 1999), and it has undergone several platforms changes and reversions. So with every change, I loose formatting change, links, comments and type that makes sense- so do forgive the bugs that I have yet to fix. (Especially my commentors before November 2011, apologies but your comments failed to migrate in the last process, however,they are all archived on my hard drive.) If you are curious about part of that process, you can read my very first post: Welcome to San's Blogger Blog! and years later, My Web re Design- Process, Tips and Resources.
Law in Development- The Big Picture
- Read about international development in general: Does International Development Aid work? - a review of recent books
- Then read this short overview of how law fits into the international development field, in this article that I wrote for Microjustice4All (thus the angle on microjustice): The Big Picture: Law and Development, Legal Empowerment and the Microjustice Movement
- If you would like an overview of academic theories (boring for those of you who don't like theory): Paradigms and Theories of Law and Development and also The Relationship between Law and Development (Davis and Treilcock, 2008)
Historical Evolution of Law in Development and Access to Justice
- If you have read The Big Picture: Law and Development, Legal Empowerment and the Microjustice Movement, stated above, you can now zoom into The 1960s Law and Development Movement which gave rise to a general notion in the development world that law was not a priority in development.
- Then read about the resurgence of law in this field via 'Rule of Law' programs in the 1990s- Are Rule of Law (ROL) programs a repeat of the Law and Development Movement? and Articles questioning and challenging ROL practices
- At the same time, in the 1990s, we also see economists and political scientists/sociologists (who were the main people in development) becoming more interdisciplinary in their approaches, in large part due to the dismal results of traditional development aid. See for example, Gap between Economics and Sociology Widens to include Law.
- Touted as one of the first articles using the term 'legal empowerment', The Asa Foundation publishes: ‘Legal Empowerment: Advancing Good Governance and Poverty Reduction’ - An ABD/TAF pubication,
- In 2005, UN forms the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, with
- Its website was created and even a wikipedia page started
- The Commission's report UN Report on Legal Empowerment of the Poor was launched in 2008. Like all good bureaucracies, the UN endorsed the report with another report: Report of the Secretary-General on Legal Empowerment.
- Read More thoughts on UN Report on Legal Empowerment of the Poor by Tom Ginsburg from University of Chicago's Law School, which is in line to My summary and initial response to the report
- Eventually UNDP became the body entrusted to carry out the LEP mission and resulted in UNDP Bangkok being the leader, creating the UNDP Bangkok Regional LEP Online Library and Ning Group, together with an Youtbe channel
- Interesting and a hot topic for today for the practioner is that on Monitoring and Evaluation- UNDP Paper on Evaluation Methodologies for Legal Empowerment, which also indicates that there is no absolute agreement about what legal empowerment really means in practice.
- World Bank gets on board by gearing up on its J4P program: World Bank Justice for the Poor (J4P) Workshop and issues a report on Work Bank and Legal Empowerment of the Poor.
- You can also read the World Bank Publication: Justice vs. Peace that tries to examine which comes first as well as
- World Bank Paper- Review of WB's Access to Justice Programs.
- Also good to follow the Bank's evolving strategy in LEP via World Bank New Publication: Justice and Development Working Paper Series
- USAID gets on board too- USAID and Legal Empowerment of the Poor, and published some papers, and how in strategy, USAID Rule of Law encompasses Legal Empowerment of the Poor work.
- Pretty soon, many others jumped onto the 'Legal Empwoerment' movement, like FAO and ILO picks up on Legal Empowerment of the Poor concept and even NGOs, like The Asia Foundation that purportedly started the term: The Asia Foundation's most recent report about Legal Empowerment.
- More interest and donor funding resulted in umbrealla LEP organizations, such as the Microjustice Network, Namati's Website is in Beta!, the Haki network, and LEPnet.org launched to share knowledge, (see more at Resources)
- Academia gets on board:
- Follow this not-so-new-anymore New Law and Development Blog by Law Professors,Recent Academic Books on Law and Develoment,
- Read this First (?) book on the 'new' Legal Empowerment/Access to Justice and Legal Empowerment in 2008,
- and another book on the link between poverty and legal empowerment: New Book on 'Rights and Legal Empowerment in Eradicating Poverty'
- The Law and Development Review, which is a periodic academic journal and
- The New Book by Editor of 'Law and Development Review'
- Practitioners are on board too, although truth be told, many of them were doing the same things before what they did fell under the new term 'LEP':
- Hot off the Press: New Book on Legal Empowerment by IDLO, and
- I know a second edition is on the way, edited by Stephen Golub. Stay tuned on this blog.
Criticisms of LEP
- Of course, there has to be A critique on Report by UN Commission for the Legal Empowerment of the Poor
- As mentioned above, the UNDP Paper on Evaluation Methodologies for Legal Empowerment, indicates that there is no agreement about what legal empowerment really means in practice, and of course, how to measure it.
LEP and Other Cool Innovations in Practice
- The concept of Microjustice, with a Paper- the concept of Microjustice, and eventually Microjustice Initiative Launched
- Legal Opinion delivered via Poetry
- See also Tech projects in the section below
(which is a good lead-in to:)
Technology in Law and Development
- How I, a lawyer turned global development legal person got into technology by becoming an Accidental Techie eons ago
- Technology and Development (ICT4D)- with the rise internet usage, the development community started to experiment with how technology can be used for development. Reactions were mixed and ranged in a spectrum from thinking of technology as a magic bullet that will allow developing counties to 'leapfrog' into development, to the belief that technology was irrelevant for poor people when basic needs are not meet.
- In 2002 via the UN, Technology hits the international development scene?
- Then World Bank gets involved with 'Information Society' via Development Gateway - Special Report on Information Society
- Harvard University holds A Dialogue on ICTs and Poverty, and another one later, A Dialogue on ICTs, Human Development, Growth, and Poverty Reduction
- However, despite the surge in interest, technology is not a magic bullet: 10 Myths of Development & Technology. For example, see these conferences:
- FailFaire- a Discussion on failures in ICT4D projects (no, REALLY!) and
- Conference on ICT4D Failures, with World Bank attending!
- The last decade saw alot of experimentation with technology in development such as Community Information Centers (Internet Cafes), and even Development Data on your iPhone!
- If this blog is not enough, read more in general about ICT4D : Who writes about ICT4D online?
- Technology and Law- at the same time, there were tech developments within the legal field too
- See interesting Harvard University's trending events like:
- Berkman Webast on 4/22; "The End of Lawyers?",
- Law for a Flat World in 2009,
- the podcast Law + Technology = Fewer Lawyers? - Richard Susskind at Radio Berkman
- Berkman Event: Hacking the Casebook and
- Berkman Event: Modeling a Paradigm Shift: From Producer Innovation to User and Open Collaborative Innovation
- A short history of legal informatics: a good and short history of legal informatics- the use of ICT to process and support legal information and activities, with a call for open standards (to make technology less vendor dependent and to allow for more choices for customers)
- There is also a movement gaining momentum on virtual law practice, such as this "Free Virtual Conference on "Practicing Law in a Virtual World" and as mentioned above section: and the American Bar Association eLawyering Website
- Trivia: To show you how far things have come, Second Life (something like a3-D Facebook), faced its first virtual law suit within that society: Read First Second Life Law Suit! and First Known Legal Case in Second Life.
- Technology in Law and Development: A Convergence of the two fields above, coupled with the LEP movement which calls for more innovation in development. Some examples (more to come- I haven't had time to link from the blog yet!):
- A lot of eGovernance work was implemented and are still being done so in developing countries, by governments, the private sector and NGOs: Introduction on E-Governance and Developing Countries, with an example in Emerging Trends for ICT in Parliaments, and Event 18 June 2010: Law.gov: Putting It All Together
- 20 Innovations in Legal Aid by the LSC
- The Potential of Mobile Justice
- Frontline SMS Legal
Future of Law and Development (with Technology involved for sure!)
- Trends for Development in general: 12 Future Trends for Development- Do you agree?
- See where academics are going when thinking about The Future of Law and Development
- There has also been a rise of interest in the future of law and development, such as Conference: The Future of Development - Yale Law School, April 8-9 2010.
- There is also a movement to revamp legal education to make lawyers more interdisciplinary, see for example Materials available for Future of Legal Education Conference
Where can you learn more in less of a hurry?
- See what professors are teaching in this field: 'Law and Development' academic course syllabus
- Where do practioners go for training? Professional Development Courses for Law and Development Practitioners
- If you are specifically interested in the field of human rights: Top Human Rights Groups and Global Networks: A Primer
- See Resources Section