Publication: Community Based Paralegalism in the Philippines : From Social Movements to Democratization
Cisnero, Maria Roda
Community-based paralegalism has been active in the Philippines for the past 30 years, and yet its contribution to access to justice and the advancement of the rights and entitlements of the poor has been largely an undocumented. This paper attempts to provide a framework study on the history, nature, and scope of paralegal work in the Philippines, based on the experience of 12 organizations that are active in the training and development of community-oriented paralegals. The study first provides a working definition of a community-based paralegal, and then examines the work of paralegals, their systems of accountability or lack thereof, and issues regarding recognition by the state and civil society actors. It also explores facilitating and hindering factors that aid or impinge upon the paralegals' effectiveness. A major contributor to the work of paralegals was the democratization process after the overthrow of the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos and the continuing evolution of legal rights spurred by the relatively progressive constitution ratified in 1987. Three dimensions of paralegal's work are identified and explored, namely, building rights awareness, settling private disputes, and increasing state and corporate accountability. The study ends with conclusions and recommendations with regard to sustainability, monitoring and evaluation, funding, and the prospects for paralegal work over the long term.
Link to Data Set
“Franco, Jennifer; Soliman, Hector; Cisnero, Maria Roda. 2014. Community Based Paralegalism in the Philippines : From Social Movements to Democratization. Justice and development working paper series;no. 27. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://hdl.handle.net/10986/17825 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”