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Access to justice for disadvantaged communities$
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Marjorie Mayo, Gerald Koessl, Matthew Scott, and Imogen Slater

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781447311027

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447311027.001.0001

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Concepts of Justice and Access to Justice

Concepts of Justice and Access to Justice

Chapter:
(p.19) Two Concepts of Justice and Access to Justice
Source:
Access to justice for disadvantaged communities
Author(s):

Marjorie Mayo

Gerald Koessl

Matthew Scott

Imogen Slater

Publisher:
Policy Press
DOI:10.1332/policypress/9781447311027.003.0003

This chapter starts by focussing upon different definitions and perspectives on the contested notion of ‘social justice’, together with their varying implications for public policy. This sets the context for the discussion of the development of legal aid, as a key element of the welfare state, as this was established in Britain, following the Second World War. Although justice for all, regardless of the ability to pay, was the original aim, the welfare state proved inadequate when it came to realising this goal. By the 1960s and early 1970s the shortcomings were becoming only too obvious. Provision was falling far short of what was actually needed in order to ensure access to justice for all. Drawing upon models developed in the US and elsewhere radical lawyers and other social reformers, concerned with human rights and equalities, responded to these shortcomings by coming up with plans for the establishment of community Law Centres. Having outlined the history of Law Centres since then, the chapter concludes by outlining more recent changes to legal aid. This sets the context for the discussion of the potential implications for Law Centres in the chapters that follow, including the implications for values and the public service ethos more generally.

Keywords:   social justice, justice for all, legal aid, US War on Poverty, Law Centres

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