Empowering Rural Communities:
Legal Aid and the Rule of Law in Rural China
March 2007 - September 2010
Funding Source: The University of Washington, Asian Law Centre
This project aims to: promote structural change in the delivery of legal aid services through a ‘grass-roots level’ model for access to justice in China’s rural regions; to build sustainable new networks of local government, universities, lawyers and citizens who have a stake in fostering civil rule of law in rural China; and to deliver the first rigorous, replicable evaluation of the impact of legal aid in rural China. By pursuing these aims it is hoped that democracy, human rights, labour rights and rule of law may develop in the rural regions of China . This project will also try to build the capacity of citizens to make legal demands on their government and a government that is obligated to respond. In addition to publication, outputs of this project will include developing legal aid centres in rural regions, training of county legal aid lawyers, township justice assistants and legal student interns, capacity building in regional law schools in dispute resolution and advocacy training.