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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 98263 Find in a Library
Title: New Models for Legal Services in Latin America
Author(s): J R Thome
Corporate Author: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Law School
Disputes Processing Research Program
United States of America
Date Published: 1984
Page Count: 32
Sponsoring Agency: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Madison, WI 53706
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Questions on whether lawyers and legal institutions can contribute to the attainment of effective social welfare and distributive reforms in Latin America are explored.
Abstract: Based on a review of data on physical, social and economic barriers to the reallocation of state goods and services, traditional models of legal aid are compared with new, innovative legal services programs emerging in some countries. Traditional legal structures have not been responsive to the needs of more disadvantaged groups. Typical state-funded legal aid programs appearing since the 1930's have proved to be inadequate. Innovative alternative legal services programs created in the last two decades do offer some hope for change, however. The new legal services programs exhibit grassroots participation, represent specific groups with common interests, focus on cases with social and economic impact for their clientele, are proactive rather than reactive, and rely on external or foreign funding. It is suggested that despite government opposition, resistance, funding instabilities, and formalistic legal education traditions, the strength and vitality of these innovative, collective advocacy legal service programs offer constructive hope in the struggles against social and economic inequalities in Latin America. An appendix and 22 references are provided. (Author abstract modified.)
Index Term(s): Attorneys; Latin America; Legal aid services; Social defense services
Note: Working paper number 1984-2.
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