[skip to content]

School of Law

Access to justice & dispute resolution: special applications

Course Code:
15PLAC157
Unit value:
1
Taught in:
Full Year

This course will provide students with a critical and comprehensive overview of the key socio-legal issues in the discourses and practices of access to justice, dispute resolution and conflict management. Particular attention is given to the influences of the Access to Justice Movement initiated by Mauro Cappelletti and its developments. The course is comparative in nature and it looks at access to justice in several legal cultures in Africa and Asia.

The course is divided in two parts. The first part of the course examines efforts to enhance access to justice through such innovations as legal aid, representative actions, public interest litigation, alternative dispute resolution, the emergence of the ‘cause lawyering’ and other ways in which the Access to Justice Movement is evolving. In addition this part of the course will equip students to undertake a critical analysis of barriers to access to justice to be found in different contexts.

The second part of the course provides and exploration of special applications of access to justice and dispute resolution in specific fields, including sexual orientation and gender identity, children, migrants, women, environment, international arena, time of crisis and criminal justice.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

  • Knowledge and understanding of the current landscape of access to justice and dispute resolution, in several selected jurisdictions in Africa and Asia;
  • In-depth knowledge of the access to justice, dispute resolution and conflict management mechanisms, especially as these relate to specialised areas of application;
  • Understanding of the importance of the legal, sociological and political contexts of current developments in access to justice, dispute resolution and conflict management;
  • Knowledge and critical appreciation of the core literature relating to the areas studied on the course;
  • Developed their analytical faculties to the point where they are able to apply the evidence of reported empirical studies to wider discussions and analyses of the socio-legal and related issues surrounding access to justice and dispute resolution in Africa and Asia.

Method of assessment

  • Coursework: 50% (5000 words)
  • Unseen written exam: 50%

Suggested reading

  • Cappelletti, Mauro et al (eds.) (1978) Access to Justice, Milano: Giuffre’, Volumes: I, II, III, IV [available in IALS: selected essays will be distributed during the meetings]
  • Cappelletti, Mauro (1981) Access to Justice and the Welfare State, Firenze: Le Monnier [available in IALS: selected essays will be distributed during the meetings]
  • Francioni, Francesco (ed.) (2007) Access to Justice as a Human Right, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Ghai, Yash and Jill, COTTRELL (2010) Marginalised Communities and Access to Justice, Oxon: Routledge.
  • Sandefur, Rebecca L (ed.) (2009) Sociology of Crime, Law and Deviance.Vol.12: Access to Justice, United Kingdom, North America, Japan: Emerald Jai.