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Title: Access to Justice. A Study of the Legal Needs of Clients of the Citizens Information Service.
Author: Ryan, Moling
Awarding Body: Queens University Belfast
Current Institution: Queen's University Belfast
Date of Award: 2008
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This study seeks to address the gap in research in the Republic of Ireland on the topic of access to justice. It is argued that in order to meaningfully address this topic there needs to be reliable and quantifiable data regarding the legal or justiciable needs of the public. This data is widely available in other jurisdictions. The research was undertaken through a legal needs survey the content of which was based extensively on similar surveys in neighbouring jurisdictions. Because of the cost and other resources involved, it was decided to take as the 'urvey population a national sample of people, totaling 191, attending the Citizens Information Service. Thus, the outcome of the survey is limited to that Service but it is argued that it is indicative of the general population. An extensive examination of comparative international findings is also undertaken. The areas addressed in the survey included the incidence of justiciable events, their variation among different segments of the population, the responses to experiencing such problems, the barriers to accessing justice and the outcome of strategies to resolve the problems. The survey Jund that over half the population set had experienced justiciable problems. The experience of these problems was not randomly distributed and certain socio-demographic elements were capable of predicting the occurrence of such problems. The extent of unmet needs was identified as 8 per cent or as high as 27 per cent, depending on whether a narrow or a wider definition is taken. It is argued that the evidence in this survey and in related research suggests that there continues to be a number of barriers to accessing justice and this is most marked in the most disadvantaged categories of the population. A range of strategies, with an emphasis on a coherent and holistic approach are proposed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available