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GoI- UNDP Access to Justice Project

1.  What is access to justice?

Access to justice is the ability of people to seek and obtain a remedy through formal or informal  institutions  of  justice for  grievances. There  is  no  access to  justice  where citizens (especially marginalized groups) fear the system, see it as unfamiliar, and do not access it; where the justice system is financially inaccessible; where individuals have no lawyers; where they do not have information or knowledge of rights; or where there is a weak justice system. Access to justice involves legal protection, legal awareness, legal aid and counsel, adjudication and enforcement.

2.  What is the GoI – UNDP Access to Justice Project About?

In 2009, a Project on Access to Justice for Marginalized People was launched by the Department of Justice in collaboration with United Nations Development Programme. The Project aims to empower the poor and disadvantaged sections of society to seek and demand justice services. The Project also seeks to improve the institutional capacities of key justice service providers to enable them to effectively serve the poor and disadvantaged.

3.  What is the duration of the Project?

The Project commenced in 2006 as a pilot phase for two years. The 1st  Phase of the Project  expanded  from  2008-2013.  The  Project  is  currently  in  its  second  phase extending from 2013-2017.

4.  What is the geographic focus of the Project?

The Project has focused activities in eight States of Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh.

5.  What are the broad deliverables of the Project?

With the overall objective of increasing access to justice for marginalised persons the Project has the following broad deliverables:

  1. Support national and local justice delivery institutions such as NALSA, SLSAs & SJAs
  2. Develop legal and representational capacity of Civil Society Organisations and networks providing access to justice services to disadvantaged groups
  3. Enhance legal awareness of women and men belonging to marginalized groups
  4.  Inform policies and institutional structures through action research and studies