In the 1980’s the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ) organized a series of seminars in Asia, Africa and Latin America on the relationship between human rights and the process of development.
One of the major conclusions of those seminars was that the poor and disadvantaged view law as a tool that is used to oppress them and not as tool that helps them secure their rights.
In view of this, the ICJ sought to establish links with legal services organizations that worked with the poor and disadvantaged groups.
In Asia, seminars were organized on the subject of the legal services for the rural poor and other disadvantaged groups and the topics included the role of law schools in dealing with the problems of access to legal services of such groups.
These seminars recommended that law school curricula should be reformed so as to awaken social concern in the students, to educate law students of their social responsibility as lawyers, in particular to defend the disadvantaged and oppressed in society.
As a follow-up the ICJ decided to hold a seminar on how this should be done and the role of law schools in providing legal services to the rural poor and other disadvantaged groups in Asia.
This seminar was organized by the ICJ jointly with the National Law School of India University (NLSIU) in April 1990 in Bangalore, India.
legal services for rural poor-seminar report-1990-eng (full text in English, PDF)ReportsSeminar and conference reports