Tipping the Scales: Strengthening Systems for Access to Justice in India

Democracy & Governance | Mar, 2018

The Constitution of India mandates equality before the law, yet informal practices of exclusion and inequality continue to plague our legal systems. Universal access to justice is not just an end in itself, but is also an enabler for good governance in a democracy. To increase and improve access to justice for its citizens, India needs to create an environment where all elements needed to help people seek grievance redressal and to uphold their rights exist. Dasra’s report, Tipping the Scales, maps and presents solutions to the spectrum of issues that obstruct universal access to justice in India.

The report draws on expert interviews, interactions with and visits to multiple nonprofits working on the ground in this sector to make certain observations and recommendations. It describes how when laws are accessible and comprehensible, citizens feel more legally empowered and know when to take legal recourse when his/her rights are violated. It goes on to recommend high quality, affordable legal aid for all, and that the case management processes in courts need to be streamlined to reduce the period of time for which litigants are embroiled in the system, as well as build greater trust in the system. The report also calls for more accountability and support for police and prison systems.


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