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A Systems Approach for Providing Legal Aid for Land

By: M. Sunil Kumar

This paper explores five models of legal empowerment for securing land rights for the rural poor in India: two focus on paralegal work, two emphasize education, and the fifth utilizes community resource persons. They include:

  • The Society of Elimination of Rural Poverty (SERP) combines community-based paralegals, community surveyors, and land centers to increase access to justice.
  • Legal Services Authority (LSA) trains volunteer paralegals from certain target groups.
  • Andhra Pradesh Mahila Samatha Society (APMSS) educates women on land rights.
  • Landesa conducts a phone-in legal literacy television program and oversees a Land Rights Center at a nearby law school.
  • The Government of Odisha trains village-based Community Resource Persons (CRPs) to bridge the gap between government officials and landless families.

The paper analyzes the strengths and weaknesses of each program, compiling the findings into a list of essential components for an ideal legal aid system that addresses land rights for the poor in rural India.

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Uploaded on: Aug 21, 2013
Last Updated: Dec 04, 2015
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