June 15, 2008
Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor
The United Nations Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor has released its report here. This is the culmination in a trend in law and development thinking to link povery reduction with legal reform. I have to admit to some skepticism that law can actually achieve much in this area. Certainly some steps such as formalization of informal property rights and legal aid to help those without resources access the legal system are helpful--they are better than nothing. But if "legal empowerment" susbtitutes for genuine redistributive programs, it is unlikely to be much more than a band-aid.
June 15, 2008 | Permalink
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