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Aims and Scope

The Editors invite manuscripts which critically analyse the procedural, corrective or distributive justice of particular legal institutional arrangements, the substantive content of legal concepts, and social-cultural practices of lawyers/judges/scholars and also of non-lawyers. Does justice lie in the multiplicity of individual or group experiences rather than in the procedural, corrective or distributive concepts about such experiences? Are the experiences of individuals or social groups alienated from such a conception of justice? What is the nature or identity of law in a modern state and what is the relation of the nature and identity of law to theories of justice? What role does history or language play in obstructing or fulfilling a particular conception of justice? Do certain legal concepts or social or cultural assumptions of legal officials present barriers to justice? Is justice possible in a modern domestic or international legal order?

The concept of ‘access’ encompasses a critical analysis of systemic barriers to achieve procedural and substantive justice. ‘Access’ issues address the means by which actors in the legal system – courts, lawyers, legislatures, judges, administrative agencies, victims, plaintiffs, defendants, accused – effect a conception of justice or perpetuate injustice. 'Access' issues also address the social-cultural practices that lie behind such legal means. In this regard, the founding Editors carefully chose the theme of ‘access to justice’ rather than ‘access to law’. Are the interests or voices of particular individuals or groups excluded from a particular domestic legal order and, if so, how does this exclusion relate to claims about justice in that legal order? Is there a gap between the law in books and the law in practice and, if so, how does the gap figure in what is taken as ‘justice’? How do gender, class, race or ethnic origin impact upon the fulfillment of particular conceptions of justice? Are some models of alternative dispute resolution more efficacious to fulfill corrective or distributive justice than the adjudicative model? Do the content or method of the education of lawyers and judges encourage or obstruct access to justice?

It is possible that what has been taken as ‘access to justice’ has evolved through the volumes of the Yearbook. However, the essays share a common interest, through different methods, as to how and why groups and individuals are excluded from a modern domestic or international legal orders. The general aim of the Yearbook is to act as a forum in which many disciplines can address each other on the shared themes of access to justice, as editors and authors endeavour to reach the highest scholarly standards for an independently refereed journal.