Law and Poverty

The Legal System and Poverty Reduction

Edited by Lucy Williams, Asbjørn Kjønstad, and Peter Robson


Exposes how law is central to the causes and structure of poverty, while exploring new possibilities for using the law to alleviate poverty.
This volume brings to light a variety of previously ignored ways in which law can be central to the causes and structure of poverty, and explores new legal arenas and theories that could form the basis of a transformative use of law in order to reduce poverty.

The contributions range over a wide terrain, including international human rights conventions, domestic constitutional and statutory provisions, and the law relating to social insurance and social assistance. Poverty is examined as being in certain respects legally constructed (i.e. there are ways in which specific laws create and exacerbate poverty). Also explored is the role of law in establishing specific rights or entitlements that contribute to reducing poverty, in particular social security provision and litigation as a tool for combating poverty. Finally, and most concretely, the volume examines divergent approaches to legal initiatives addressing specific aspects of poverty such as tackling child labour, reducing economic discrimination against women, and protecting the freedom of employees to organize collectively. Throughout the volume is an acute awareness of the contradictory ways in which law can impact on poverty, and on the reality of poverty as not simply a domestic issue, but a cross-border and global challenge.

Author Bio

Lucy Williams is Professor of Law at Northeastern University, Boston and has extensive experience of the trans-border dimensions of poverty in North America.

Asbjorn Kjonstad is Professor of Social Law and former Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Oslo.

Peter Robson is Professor of Social Welfare Law at the University of Strathclyde.

Table of Contents

  • Part 1: Poverty as Legally Constructed
    • 1. The Right to Development as a Basic Human Right - Ahmed Aoued
    • 2. Cross-Border Reflections on Poverty: Lessons From the United States and Mexico - Lucy Williams
    • 3. Poverty as a Violation of Human Rights: The Pinochet Case and the Emergence of a New Paradigm - Camilo Perez-Bustillo
  • Part 2: Responsibility for Alleviating Poverty
    • 4. The Politics of Child Support - Peter Robson
    • 5. The State, Laws and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Bangladesh - Mokbul Morshed Ahmad
    • 6. Exclusion and Rights - Paul Spicker
  • Part 3: The Establishment of Legal Entitlements
    • 7. Judicial Review, Social Antagonism and the Use of Litigation as a Tool for Combating Poverty - Antonella Mameli
    • 8. Poverty and Property - Human Rights and Social Security - Asbjørn Kjønstad
    • 9. The Effect of Legal Mechanisms on Selective Welfare Strategies for Needy Persons: The Greek experience - Gabriel Amitsis
  • Part 4: Legal Initiatives to Address Specific Aspects of Poverty
    • 10. Gender Mainstreaming as an Instrument for Combating Poverty - Sue Nott
    • 11. Does Alcohol and Tobacco Legislation Help Reduce Poverty? The evidence from Sri Lanka
  • Kalinga - Tudor Silva
    • 12. Child Labour - A threat to survival of civilization - Amita Agarwal
    • 13. Labour Organization and Labour Relations Law in India: Implications for poverty alleviation - Debi S. Saini


Publication Date: 1 December 2003
320 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781842773970
Library Edition: 9781842773963

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