Supporting Grassroots Legal Advocates / Community Paralegals

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Centre for Community Justice and Development: Using Innovative Financing to Sustain Legal Empowerment Work in South Africa

+Acumen, Open Society Justice Initiative,

This case study follows the story of Winnie Martens, founding director of the Centre for Community Justice (CCJD) in South Africa, as she shaped the organization into a nonprofit social enterprise focused on the intertwined mission of “justice” and “development” for local communities surrounding The University of KwaZulu-Natal. Today, the organization supports a network of…

Justice Policy Series, Part 1: Access to Justice

Open Government Partnership, Joseph Foti, Jessica Hickle, Maha Jweied,

The Open Government Partnership (OGP) provides an opportunity for government and civil society reformers to make government more transparent, participatory, and accountable. Working together, government and civil society co-create two-year action plans with concrete commitments across a broad range of issues that are then monitored by OGP’s Independent Reporting Mechanism (IRM). Until recently, access to…

A Few Interventions and Offerings from Five Movement Lawyers to the Access to Justice Movement

Jennifer Ching, Thomas B. Harvey, Meena Jagannath, Purvi Shah, Blake Strode,

We are five lawyers who occupy very different corners of justice work. We are civil rights, human rights, and criminal defense lawyers, and we have worked at and managed legal services programs. We have taught law at law schools and universities and have built our own organizations. We currently work in interdisciplinary spaces with community…

Hybrid entities can bring for-profit strategies to NGO funding

Louis Bickford,

This resource touches on how Hybrid entities that mix for-profit and not-for-profit strategies have the potential to free NGOs from constantly seeking foundation funding. Through his experiences in both the NGO world and now through a startup in Silicon Valley Louis Bickford shares insights of his journey so far

How to Register as a Social Enterprise in Bangladesh

Shaveena Anam,

This Legal Toolkit will assist new social entrepreneurs to navigate the registration process. Registration can be a lengthy and difficult battle which will come with a lot of responsibility. Once completed, you will have reporting obligations and will need to keep detailed financial records, provide an audit of accounts to the tax office, and set…

Task Force on Justice Innovating Working Group Report

HiiL Innovating Justice, Taskforce on Justice,

This is the report of the Innovation Working Group of the Task Force on Justice.  The Innovation Working Group was asked to review the evidence of unmet justice needs, explore the potential for innovation, explore the investment possibilities for promising innovation areas, provide parameters for enhancing innovation for SDG16.3, and to make recommendations on these…

Justice In Government Toolkit

American University Justice Programs Office,

Civil legal aid is free legal assistance to those who cannot afford it, whether provided through direct services or court-based self-help centers, community education, medical-legal partnerships, and online information. Legal aid can help to improve the quality and efficiency of government programs, increase access to justice, and achieve policy outcomes and priorities. This Toolkit helps government policymakers,…

Legal Empowerment as Social Entrepreneurship: The KwaZulu-Natal Cases of Bulwer and New Hanover

Fayth Ruffin, Winnie Kubayi Martins,

In this chapter, theoretical foundations of social entrepreneurship and legal empowerment are explored and intersection of these social actions by community based-paralegal practice in rural KwaZulu-Natal examined. Conceptually, integration of social entrepreneurship and legal empowerment innovatively contributes to the broader discourse on self-determined community development and democratic governance. Empirical evidence shows that community-based paralegals generate…

Theory of Change Thinking in Practice: A Stepwise Approach

Hivos,

Hivos aims for structural, systemic change that enables all citizens – both women and men – to participate actively and equally in the decision-making processes that determine their lives, their society and their future. Consequently, Hivos staff and partner organisations engage in complex social processes. Change emerges as a result of the simultaneous push and…

Manuel Pratique de Protection pour les Défenseur·e·s des Droits Humains en République Démocratique du Congo

Protection International,

Il y a maintenant 10 ans que Protection International a publié son Nouveau Manuel de Protection (NMP). Bien que toujours d’actualité, son contenu peut paraître abstrait au premier abord et il est parfois difficile pour les défenseurs et défenseures (DDH) d’appliquer les concepts et méthodes proposées à leur propre organisation et contexte. De plus, le…

New Handbook for Environment Justice Practitioners in India

Posted by Namati in Community Paralegals, Environment, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

Handbook on Legal and Administrative Remedies for Community Level Environment Justice Practitioners in India   The Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program has produced an indispensable new handbook that helps environment justice practitioners in India to identify and use appropriate legal clauses and institutional routes in their work. Environment justice practitioners, or grassroots environment paralegals,…

Groundtruthing – A Journey from Law to Environmental Justice

Posted by Vivek Trivedi in General

“The community actually said that the ‘air is so bad and the water is so bad that we can neither cook nor make tea.’” This line, sobering in its daily reality, was delivered at a recent webinar entitled Building Evidence for Justice – Groundtruthing Environmental Compliance, by Kanchi Kohli, Legal Research Director at the CPR-Namati…

Bringing Law to Life: Paralegal Interventions in Natural Resource Exploitation

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Community Paralegals, Land & Natural Resources

Introduction When a diamond mining company closed its operations in Mofuwe Village, in the south of Sierra Leone, it left behind three mined-out pits the size of several football pitches, a collapsed bridge, a blocked stream and an uncompleted community school building. It was as if the villagers woke up one morning and the company…

New book on protecting community lands and resources in Africa from Namati and Natural Justice

Posted by Marena Brinkhurst in Advocacy & Systemic Change, Land & Natural Resources, Resources & Research

In 2013, a group of 20 expert advocates from across Africa gathered for a three-day symposium to share experiences and practical strategies for effectively supporting communities to protect their lands and natural resources. The symposium illuminated many similarities between the types of threats to communities’ land and natural resource claims, as well as underlying factors that drive and exacerbate…

Community Paralegals and the Legal Empowerment Approach to Statelessness

Posted by Laura Goodwin in Citizenship

Community Paralegals and the Legal Empowerment Approach to Statelessness Mohammad Javed is an Urdu-speaking entrepreneur living in the middle of Dhaka, the capital city of Bangladesh. Looking to grow his business, Mohammad decided to travel to India to start importing spare auto-rickshaw parts for his own repairs and to sell to others. Yet Mohammad was…

OpEd: A Citizenship Sea-Change in Bangladesh

Posted by Bremen Donovan in Citizenship

The Daily Star in Bangladesh printed an OpEd by Namati’s friend Bremen Donovan to coincide with a conference on Statelessness attended by Namati and its partner the Council of Minorities. It is one of the first times the wider Bengali public have been exposed to the work of paralegals from the Urdu-speaking community. The OpED…