Delivering the legal information people really need

Delivering the legal information people really need 30 August 2012

The challenge in delivering legal information targeted on needs of disputants is key to legal empowerment. It came out as the number one strategy for improving access to justice when 100 experts discussed the HiiL trend report on Basic Justice Care.

Legal information that is sufficiently tailored to a problem is valuable and costly. Individualised legal advice is a known way to do this, but it is too costly for most individuals. Standardised legal information can be the answer, but it is very hard to build a sustainable organisation for this. If the information is good, it can easily be copied and willingness to pay is low. Moreover, governments may be reluctant to make this information available and literacy can be an issue as well.

Research clearly shows that about half of legal problems are solved by communication and negotiation between the parties. Settlement is the rule; a decision by a judge or another adjudicator is exceptional. Therefore, empowering people to negotiate fair solutions is key. Right now, many people see law as something threatening and complicated. Instead, they should get access to information that helps them to communicate, negotiate and cope with problems.

Read more about this challenge on the Innovating Justice website.

Further information