27 Indiana J. Global Legal Studies 1 (2020)
The papers gathered in this volume analyze access to justice in
Latin America, Europe, and North America from a philosophical, legal,
and sociological perspective. In these three regions of the world, as in
the rest of the globe, liberal democracies face a troubling gap between
the normative and the descriptive: the access to justice promises made
by the legal and political system are not fully realized in practice. The
studies collected here, therefore, share two baseline assumptions. First,
the right of access to justice is fundamental in a liberal state. Access to
justice ensures that citizens are able to defend their interests in court
and achieve full inclusion in the political community. Access to justice,
as argued by social contract theory, is at the core of liberal democracies'
normative projects. In the liberal democracies studied in this special
issue-as in all others influenced by the post-Enlightenment modern
project-contractualism and its commitment to access to justice is part
of the of theoretical toolbox used to constitute and legitimize the
political community. For all of these liberal democracies, access to
justice is necessary for achieving peace and prosperity, and for the full
inclusion of all citizens in the polity.
Second, the papers gathered in this volume agree that
epistemological, socioeconomic, and legal market disparities obstruct
the materialization of the right that citizens have to access courts and
the administration to solve their conflicts. The key objectives pursued by
liberal democracies cannot be fully realized because of poverty and
inequality. Both variables have a causal relationship with the access to
justice deficits faced by the countries studied in this special issue.
Crawford, Colin and Bonilla Maldonado, Daniel
Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies: Vol. 27
, Article 1.
Available at: https://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/ijgls/vol27/iss1/1
Available for download on Saturday, February 15, 2025