Access to Justice: Opening the Courthouse Door
Publication Date: January 2007
Publisher(s): Brennan Center for Justice
Keywords: Civil Justice; Attorneys' Fee Awards; Civil Legal Aid
In this white paper, we argue that the gap between America’s promise of equal justice and the reality of justice on the ground is substantial, and growing. Meaningful access to the courts—consisting of representation by counsel, the ability to physically enter court and understand and participate in the proceedings, and the opportunity to have claims heard—is increasingly out of reach for many Americans. Inadequate access to the courts harms the court system itself and the citizenry’s respect for the rule of law. The following specific reform initiatives aim to address and correct this fundamental problem.