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Beyond Rule of Law Orthodoxy: The Legal Empowerment Alternative

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The international aid field of law and development focuses too much on law, lawyers and state institutions, and too little on development, the poor and civil society. In fact, it is doubtful whether "rule of law orthodoxy," the dominant paradigm pursued by many international agencies, should be the central means for integrating law and development.

This working paper examines legal empowerment--the use of legal services and related development activities to increase disadvantaged populations' control over their lives--as an alternative.