The Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor aims to make legal protection and economic opportunity not the privilege of the few but the right of all. Legal Empowerment is hosted by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It was launched in 2005 by a group of developing and industrialized countries including Canada, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, Guatemala, Iceland, India, Norway, Sweden, South Africa, Tanzania and the United Kingdom, and has a mandate to complete its work in 2008.
Policy and Research Papers
When the law works for everyone, it defines and enforces the rights and obligations of all. This allows people to interact with one another in an atmosphere that is certain and predictable. Thus, the rule of law is not a mere adornment to development; it is a vital source of progress. It creates an environment in which the full spectrum of human creativity can flourish, and prosperity can be built. The Commission understands legal empowerment to be a process of systemic change through which the poor and excluded become able to use the law, the legal system, and legal services to protect and advance their rights and interests as citizens and economic actors.
This is the second of two volumes of the report of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor and consists mainly of the outcomes of fi ve working groups established to inform the Commission’s deliberations through substantive work in the thematic areas of Access to Justice and Rule of Law, Property Rights, Labour Rights,
Business Rights and with respect to overall implementation strategies. The working groups consisted of a core of between fi ve and seven experts and stakeholders in their
individual capacities from around the world, with leading edge expertise and experience in the theme to be studied.