Access to Justice

INTRODUCTION

As an organisation that uses the law to bring about systemic changes to remove barriers in accessing justice, particularly for marginalized communities, CSJ also works to expand the reach of mechanisms already in place.

Further, it has always advocated for the formation of platforms that will expand the reach of justice by making legal processes and mechanisms more responsive to the needs of communities.

CSJ’s profile in expanding the reach of access to justice is as follows:

Strengthening Institutional Mechanisms

AsilManch: Asil Manchis a forum, where litigants come together to generate awareness about their rights, provide legal support and raise issues of efficiency, transparency and accountability of the judiciary. Currently, over 2000 litigants are members of AsilManch.

Advocacy Efforts

Gram Nyayalaya Bill: Critique and Recommendations—

Gram Nyayalaya, envisaged as a body within formal justice delivery system, is a Bill that explores methods to make justice delivery mechanism participatory, cheap, less complex, and more people-friendly. CSJ has submitted its critique and recommendations to make it more efficient in achieving its objectives.

Report of Nyaya Panchayat

Nyaya Panchayat shave been conceived as grassroots-level bodies for dispute resolution. They are not Gram Nyayalayas, which can formally deliver justice. Nyaya Panchayats are informal in character and rely on public participation. The Centre developed a critique of the Billand helped make the legislative process participatory.

Approach Paper on Access to Justice to the Vulnerable in India Submitted to the Planning Commission

The paper studies factors that affect access to justice for the vulnerable. It maps the status quo in India based on the CSJ’s experience working with vulnerable communities.

Engagement with the Legal Services Authorities

We also made recommendations on how legal services authorities in India can help women and other marginalised groups in availing justice.Constant advocacy with the Department of Justice and National Legal Service Authority (NALSA) also ensured the institutionalization of the three critical schemes thatprovide for free and competent legal aid. Recently, CSJ also initiated action research to understand how well these schemes have been implemented.

RESEARCH AND KNOWLEDGE CREATION

Study of Implementation of National Legal Services Act in the State of Gujarat Submitted to SLSA

The Indian Institute of Paralegal Studies run by the Centre advocated to institutionalize the crucial role paralegals play in ensuring justice delivery. The Institute also studied the implementation of the National Legal Services Act by using the Right To Information and observation guidelines for Lok Adalats to assess factors influencing quality of legal services.

UNDP survey for Identifying Gaps in Legal Empowerment

CSJ carried out research across seven states with the financial support from the United Nations Development Programme, on “Situation Analysis Of Institutional Barriers That Exist In The Legal System”.