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MARG believes in justice through Legal Empowerment and this is how we try to achieve it:
Legal awareness and legal literacy lie at the base of any effort toward legal empowerment. Critical knowledge of legal provisions and processes, coupled with the skills to use this knowledge to realize rights and entitlements will empower people to demand justice, accountability and effective remedies at all levels. MARG produces a wide range of legal literacy materials, conducts legal awareness workshops for activists and the community, and also trains state functionaries on legal provisions and procedure.
While legal awareness is the natural starting point for legal empowerment, it has often to be followed by legal assistance in actually accessing rights. This is especially so for marginalized sections whose protracted vulnerability makes access to justice particularly difficult. Legal assistance can range from legal advice and counseling, to representation in court through litigation. MARG provides legal assistance through its network of lawyers and community justice workers in various parts of the country.
Building Legal Capacity for Good Governance
Justice is closely linked to effective governance. Legal empowerment through legal capacity building is an important key to better governance. When people are equipped not only with the knowledge of rights and skills to enforce them, but are empowered to engage effectively with the state machinery and mechanisms, they are in a better position to secure their rights and pursue their interests. Legal capacity building of the poor and marginalised will empower them to protect their rights, pursue their own interests, and demand accountability and responsiveness from government agencies and public institutions. MARG works towards building the legal capacity of communities and organisations so they can act as catalysts for improved governance in their areas.
Justice requires just laws to begin with – laws which focus on the protection of the fundamental human rights of all, particularly the disadvantaged and the marginalized. Statutory law must comply with the recognized standards of human rights law. Effective safeguards must be available to prevent discrimination and uphold fundamental freedoms and equality. This is true not only for new or proposed statutes, rules and policies, but also for existing ones. MARG engages with policy makers in providing inputs for new legislations and assessing existing ones.
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