Rethinking the Role of Law and Justice in Africa's Development

12 Feb 2014
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Rethinking the Role of Law and Justice in Africa's Development
An Edited Volume of Discussion Papers


This Edited Volume of five discussion papers highlights the inter-linkages between the law, access to justice and legal empowerment on the one hand and sustainable and inclusive development on another. The volume emphasizes the need to expand the definition of the rule of law and access to justice beyond its juridical lens. It reinforces critical debates on the capacity of the law, legal and judicial institutions to create conditions for and provide people including marginalized groups with more equitable and just opportunities. The volume articulates how the law and associated institutions create space to build human capital and assets, and free individuals and organizations to become productive in a stable environment. In promoting inclusion, the volume discusses how these frameworks and institutions can advance responses to social and economic issues, empower citizens to shift imbalanced power relations, and expand the reach and quality of services including access to justice and other public services. Furthermore, it illustrates how equity can be achieved when effective judicial and legal institutions support equality of opportunity, promote open and accountable governance and guarantee redistributive justice. The volume concludes that more holistic policy and programmatic approaches that respond to the multiple dimensions and linkages of the law and justice; a comprehensive understanding of who critically needs legal security and access to justice in light of historically excluded groups; and a review of result indicators can collectively ensure that the conception of justice represents the interests of all people.

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