Legal empowerment


Citizen empowerment can also refer to legal empowerment. "Legal empowerment occurs when poor, or marginalised people use the law, legal systems, and justice mechanisms to improve or transform their social, political or economic situations. The concept of legal empowerment emerged within the development community in the early 2000s from a critique of the 'rule of law orthodoxy' and its perceived top-down technical assistance approach to justice sector reform. By contrast, legal empowerment approaches are explicitly interested in the agency and priorities of marginalised people, and understanding how they can use the law to advance their interests. As a concept, it was important in reorienting the attention of the international community towards the experience of the 'end-users' of law and justice programmes. At the same time, the use of the law and legal systems by disadvantaged people to contest the unfair distribution of power and resources is a real-world phenomenon that predates and exists independently of international law and justice assistance. These activities are rooted in context-specific histories of how law, politics, and development intersect to shape the distribution of resources and power".

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