8: Marginalized Groups and Unmet Legal Needs

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Chapter 8, Marginalized Groups and Unmet Legal Needs, explores how the pandemic has affected access to advice and redress for marginalized groups. Already marginalized communities are likely to be affected the most by the pandemic. Yet, we know relatively little about how members of these groups are accessing the justice system and what can be done during and after the pandemic to improve their capacity to obtain advice, support and redress. The digital age has brought both opportunities and challenges to the access to justice landscape. While advancements in technology have made justice more accessible to some, they have also created barriers for others, especially those who are digitally and legally excluded. Our empirical data show that there is a need for inclusive justice that addresses the unmet legal needs of marginalized groups, provides support and guidance for legal needs and promotes knowledge and awareness of tribunals and ombuds. Additionally, procedural justice plays a crucial role in establishing legitimacy in the digital age, and communication that considers both the form and content can have a significant impact on the emotional experiences of service users. It is essential to consider the unique vulnerabilities and capabilities of different groups and aim towards creating a justice system that serves everyone, including the digitally and legally abandoned.

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