Shalish and the Role of BRAC’s Federation: Improving the Poor’s Access to Justice


As the major part of the population the poor have the rights to get real justice but such entitlements have remained largely theoretical. The legal system remains obscure and inaccessible. It is ill equipped to deal with claims and claimants that are supported by the nominal forms of evidence required under the law: witness, legal documents such as marriage, divorce, land registration deeds and so forth. On the other hand in rural areas in particular implementation of the rule of law for the protection of disadvantaged members of society is tantamount to challenge the dominant authority and the prevailing cultural and moral values. Besides, in this system elite and political leaders of the society who manage the traditional mediation system do not favour the disadvantaged class in the passing of judgement over disputes.

To minimize and reconcile these disputes, since 1998 BRAC has been intervening in the villages with their development effort to form federations, which are groups of three to five village organizations (VOs) with five members from each within a Ward and through which members aim to achieve high awareness of their social and political conditions, increase their ability to undertake and manage social and economic action and develop the ability to solve their own disputes through informal justice. So, whether they are in progress or not in their undertaking has been evaluated in this study

Related information

  • Writer Name: M Abdul Alim
  • Published Date: Wednesday, 15 December 2004
  • Country: Bangladesh