Welcome to our newsfeed! Here you will find updates about our organization’s activities, as well as new features that arise on our continually expanding website. Check out our blog for more in-depth observations about legal empowerment from leading scholars and practitioners.
A high-level panel of advocates for including justice in the post-2015 development goals addressed the UN today, December 12, 2013. At the meeting George Soros spoke about the need to include four justice targets in the new development framework that will succeed the Millennium Development Goals after they expire in 2015.
The African Innovation Foundation has launched an online library that offers digital access to literature and resources on African law and governance. The library includes information about formal and customary law, as well as different legal systems and judgements. It is available free of charge.
Sierra Leone’s leading female hip hop artist, Star Zee, teamed up with Namati partner AdvocAid to record a song to educate women about their legal rights. The song and music video were released today, International Human Rights Day.
A coalition of legal empowerment groups has written to the Government of Kenya encouraging it to support the inclusion of justice targets in the new development framework that will replace the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The study, prompted by the ILC Antigua Declaration 2013, assesses international and regional-level approaches for addressing concerns related to indigenous lands, territories, and resources. It also provides an extensive regional review, showing how the situation of indigenous peoples relates to global issues like women’s land rights, environment, and climate change.
A brochure published by Namati and partner SiLNoRF is being distributed to communities in Makeni, Sierra Leone, where large-scale land investment deals are increasingly affecting local lives and livelihoods. The brochure provides advice to communities about how to harmonize local boundaries and what to do if an investor approaches.
India’s vibrant coastline is home to the intricate profession of artisanal fishing, and some of the world’s worst land grabs and environmental violations in recent years. On World Fisheries Day, Manju Menon and Kanchi Kohli suggest a practical road forward to protect fishing communities and the land they have depended on, leaving hardly a footprint, for centuries.
In a victory for legal empowerment campaigners in South Africa, the Legal Practice Bill was passed into law containing provisions for the statutory recognition of paralegals. Much of the credit for the recognition of paralegals must go to the National Alliance for the Development of Community Advice Offices (NADCAO), which campaigned for the provision.
The World Justice Challenge is an open competition designed to incubate practical, on-the-ground programs that advance the rule of law.
A food security law passed in India last month treats access to food as a legal entitlement. Such developments are our best shot at ending hunger, writes UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food Olivier de Schutter.
A pilot legal empowerment scheme in India aims to educate commercial sex workers about their rights and basic legal procedure. The program, a collaborative effort by the Pune District Legal Services Authority (PDLSA) and the Delhi-based Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR) offers a three-month structured course through which participants may qualify as paralegals able to represent themselves in court.
Is India’s new Cabinet Committee on Investment more interested in bypassing laws than supporting them?
The Committee, established January 2013, seems to be operating on the premise that when the country’s environment and forest laws threaten to slow economic progress they should be “brushed aside and rendered ineffective”, writes Kanchi Kohli.
In Swaziland, drafts of a new National Legal Aid Policy and Legal Aid Bill have been endorsed for submission to the Attorney General’s office and urgent consideration by Cabinet. The documents are based on a ‘mediation before litigation’ approach and recognize the crucial role community-based paralegals play in creating pathways to justice.
World Justice Project staff took this year’s UN World Happiness Report and compared the results with their Rule of Law Index. The results don’t come as much of a surprise: “A country with strong rule of law is more likely to be one with happier citizens.”
Amidst rising reports of human rights abuses by opposition groups in Syria, several organizations are working to train rebel fighters in international humanitarian law.