42 Colum. J. Transnat'l L. 863 (2003-2004)
No One's Perfect (Not Even Close): Reevaluating Access to Justice in the United States and Western Europe

handle is hein.journals/cjtl42 and id is 873 raw text is: No One's Perfect (Not Even Close):
Reevaluating Access to Justice in the United
States and Western Europe
The promise of equal access to justice for the rich and
poor alike has been one of the most serious challenges
facing liberal democracies during the last century.
Critics of the American approach to legal aid for the
poor advocate the adoption of Western European
models. At the same time, Western European nations
confront serious difficulties in maintaining those
models, which have met with the disapproval of
European critics. An unbiased evaluation of popular
schemes in the United States and Western Europe
reveals that critiques of both systems are correct: no
model of access to justice currently in place is perfect.
However, by borrowing from the best of the American
scheme (its breadth) and the best of the Western
European schemes (their high level of government
commitment) an ideal access to justice system can be
developed.
I.    INTRODUCTION
Access to justice, or, more accurately, access to the judicial
system is one of the most critical issues facing the legal community
worldwide.   Throughout history, [o]ne factor has remained
constant: ... [the] legal system  does not provide affordable
professional services to a significant segment of the population.'
Poor people the world over do not have access to the tools they need
to protect and promote their rights and interests. Yet, the right of all
citizens, including the poor, to full and zealous representation is the
1. Abe Krash, The Law Firm and the Public Good, 9 GEO. J. LEGAL ETHIcs 915, 918
(1996) (book review).

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