Access to Justice: North East Needs Assessment Study, to Identify Gaps in the Legal Empowerment of People in the States (2015)
The objective of this research project was to identify the necessity, form, and extent of intervention required to achieve the project’s goal of enhancing access to justice in the eight states of the Northeast: Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Sikkim, and Tripura.
Essentially, the research revealed that while the Northeast has seen a significant increase in literacy rates and improved economic conditions in the last decade, this has not led to much improvement in access to justice.
Awareness of the Law, and basic Rights remain low across the region, and people still prefer to take their legal issues to traditional councils and village durbars for resolution. Six recommendations were presented which are enumerated as follows in short: increase legal awareness and empowerment, document customary laws, encourage the use of alternative dispute resolution mechanisms, increase women’s empowerment, publicise and enhance access to free legal aid services and build capacity of law enforcement agencies.
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