The Legal Literacy and Legal Awareness Program (LLLAP) under the DISHA scheme, facilitated by the Department of Justice, extends its reach to over 600,000 individuals through the collaborative efforts of 14 implementing agencies.
Enshrining Access to Justice in India: The Role of the A2J Division
- Access to justice is a fundamental right enshrined in the Constitution of India.
- The A2J Division of the Department of Justice (DoJ), Ministry of Law and Justice, Government of India, has been diligently working to make this right a reality, especially in the North Eastern States and the Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir.
Evolution of Access to Justice Initiatives in India: From 2012 to DISHA Scheme
- Since 2012, the DoJ has been implementing the Access to Justice Scheme, focusing on legal empowerment, dissemination of information, and capacity development.
- The first phase concluded in 2017, followed by the successful completion of the second phase in March 2021.
- Now, a new scheme, ‘Designing Innovative Solutions for Holistic Access to Justice‘ (DISHA), has been launched to further the cause of access to justice in India.
The Legal Literacy and Legal Awareness Programme
- One of the pivotal components of the Access to Justice Scheme is the Legal Literacy and Legal Awareness Programme.
- This program aims to empower the poor and disadvantaged sections of society to seek and demand justice services.
- It also seeks to enhance the institutional capacities of key justice service providers to enable them to effectively serve the marginalized.
The objectives of the Legal Literacy and Legal Awareness Programme
Utilizing technology for the enhanced delivery of legal literacy, knowledge products, and the implementation of innovative and holistic ideas. In the digital age, technology can be a powerful tool for making legal information accessible to a wider audience.
II.Mainstreaming Legal Literacy
Building partnerships across ministries and allied departments, institutions, schools, and other organizations to mainstream legal literacy. Collaboration is essential to reach a larger audience and promote legal awareness.
Developing the capacity of grassroots and frontline workers and volunteers to effectively promote legal literacy and awareness. These individuals play a crucial role in disseminating legal knowledge at the community level.
IV.Indicators for Legal Literacy and Awareness
Creating indicators to measure the level of legal literacy and awareness in India. This data will help assess the impact of legal literacy programs and identify areas that require more attention.
Continuously evaluating and assessing legal literacy and legal awareness programs to ensure their effectiveness. This allows for adjustments and improvements as needed.
The DISHA Scheme
- The ‘Designing Innovative Solutions for Holistic Access to Justice’ (DISHA) Scheme was launched for a five-year period from 2021 to 2026.
- This scheme represents a significant step forward in the effort to provide comprehensive, holistic, integrated, and systemic solutions for access to justice at the pan-India level.
Key objectives of the DISHA Scheme
I.Justice for All
Ensuring “Justice” for the people of India, as enunciated in the Preamble and under Articles 39A, 14, and 21 of the Constitution of India. This reflects the commitment to providing equitable access to justice for all citizens.
II.Integration and Consolidation
Designing and consolidating various initiatives to provide citizen-centric delivery of legal services. The DISHA Scheme aims to streamline and unify efforts to make access to justice more effective and efficient.
Putting citizens at the forefront by focusing on their needs and expectations in the justice system. The scheme emphasizes the importance of providing legal services that are user-friendly and accessible.
DISHA Scheme: Paving the Way for Comprehensive Access to Justice in India
The DISHA Scheme represents a significant milestone in the ongoing journey to enhance access to justice in India. By merging and upscaling the existing Access to Justice programs, the government aims to reach all corners of the country, ensuring that even the most marginalized and disadvantaged citizens have the information and resources they need to seek justice.