Tag: legal aid

The Promotion of Access to Justice: Top Down and Bottom Up Approaches

Posted on March 27th, by Akhila Kolisetty in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

March 27, 2014 – Akhila Kolisetty

Globally, approximately 4 billion people live beyond the reach of the law, lacking the protection of a robust justice system to investigate crimes, apprehend criminals, resolve disputes, and provide civil justice and redress for injustices they have experienced.

In the United States, we are living in the age of mass incarceration and over-criminalization of minor offenses. Yet, rule of law is often poor in developing countries where the legal infrastructure simply does not exist to prevent crime, resolve disputes, and protect individuals from violence. Common problems that the poor have are similar worldwide, and may involve issues of domestic and gender-based violence, family law, criminal justice, or property and housing rights. Having access to a lawyer and effective policing can be crucial for the poor; it can protect women from sexual or gender-based violence, get innocent men out of lengthy pre-trial detention and back to their families, ensure farmers and women have access to title over their land, and provide an indigent woman with child support. Access to legal aid can thus help pull people out of poverty, promote women’s empowerment, and prevent violence. More broadly, the rule of law is vital to promote economic development … Read More »


Event: Joining together to stop investigative torture: A conversation with Karen Tse, International Bridges to Justice

Posted on March 26th, by Akhila Kolisetty in LIDS LIVE. No Comments

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Joining together to stop investigative torture: A conversation with Karen Tse, International Bridges to Justice

When: April 3rd, 12 – 1 pm

Where: WCC 3018

In too many countries, it’s still normal to torture prisoners for confessions and information. Karen Tse works to end that. A former public defender, Karen Tse developed an interest in the intersection of criminal law and human rights after observing Southeast Asian refugees held in a local prison without trial, often tortured to obtain “confessions.” In 1994, she moved to Cambodia to train the country’s first core group of public defenders. Under the auspices of the UN, she trained judges and prosecutors, and established the first arraignment court in Cambodia.

In 2000, Tse founded International Bridges to Justice (IBJ) to help create systemic change in criminal justice and promote basic rights of legal representation for defendants on the ground. Her foundation complements the work of witness groups, who do the equally vital work of advocacy, reports, photographs. Tse’s group helps governments build new systems that respect individual rights. In IBJ’s first years, she negotiated groundbreaking measures  in judicial reform with the Chinese, Vietnamese and Cambodian governments. It now works in sixteen countries, including Rwanda, Burundi and India. As a social … Read More »