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Action 4 Justice is dedicated to improving access to social justice for poor and marginalised communities through the strategic use of public interest litigation. The group was formed by a consortium of non-governmental organisations and sympathetic individuals to promote the use of legal action for social justice and to provide practical information and advice on how to pursue a public interest litigation case.
Many people feel powerless when faced with assaults on their living standards and long-standing rights. The law and the legal system appear always to be on the side of the wealthy and powerful. In fact, the courts and the justice system can support and enforce the rights of whole communities, including the most disempowered. Legal principles, which often remain a dead letter, can be invoked to support such causes as land rights for indigenous populations, social equality for women, protection of the environment.
Litigation in the public interest aims to support a public goal benefitting groups of people, rather than just specific named individuals. Community leaders, local organisations, or sympathetic legal personnel can initiate such legal cases to redress local problems. Community support spreads costs and the court case may itself become the focus of a broader social movement.
This website aims to explain the potential of public interest litigation and to provide practical support and guidance for planning such legal action