Access to what?

Rebecca L. Sandefur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The access-to-justice crisis is bigger than law and lawyers. It is a crisis of exclusion and inequality. Today, access to justice is restricted: only some people, and only some kinds of justice problems, receive lawful resolution. Access is also systematically unequal: some groups-wealthy people and white people, for example-get more access than other groups, like poor people and racial minorities. Traditionally, lawyers and judges call this a “crisis of unmet legal need.” It is not. Justice is about just resolution, not legal services. Resolving justice problems lawfully does not always require lawyers’ assistance, as a growing body of evidence shows. Because the problem is unresolved justice issues, there is a wider range of options. Solutions to the access-to-justice crisis require a new understanding of the problem. It must guide a quest for just resolutions shaped by lawyers working with problem-solvers in other disciplines and with other members of the American public whom the justice system is meant to serve.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-55
Number of pages7
JournalDaedalus
Volume148
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Political Science and International Relations
  • History and Philosophy of Science

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Access to what?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Sandefur, R. L. (2019). Access to what? Daedalus, 148(1), 49-55. https://doi.org/10.1162/DAED_a_00534