The social outreach of law: experiences from linking universities and communities in promoting access to justice in Peru
This paper is a result of the Citizen Participation in Human Rights Advocacy Learning Fellowship Programme at the Institute of Development Studies in 2002. The author shares his experiences from the PROSODE (Proyecci¾n Social de Derecho/ Social Outreach of Law) programme at the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru. He describes how the programme was built up by a group of students and how they embark upon planning, funding and implementing the programme. Today PROSODE works in three fields of activity: they give free legal advice to people that cannot afford a lawyer; they conduct workshops for teenagers at schools in poor zones on topics such as human, civil and political rights, domestic violence, democracy, police abuse, the importance of institutions in a democratic system, and citizen participation; they run a radio programme to convey information concerning public rights and duties, and to contribute to building citizen consciousness. Following the project description the author gives us some general notes on justice in Peru, the problems of access to justice in Peru, the role of PROSODE in facing these problems, challenges in their work, and lessons learnt. Finally, he presents some reflections on linking between university and community.