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The Graphic Law Library is a living archive that takes different legal content from legislations to basic procedures and redesigns them in interactive and actionable formats. These include in the form of primers, info-graphics and briefs.
What is the project about?
The language of the law is riddled with complexity whether in terms of the procedural requirements or even in substantive terms. As a result, while the law creates ‘experts’ who can apply it, it creates feelings of alienation and difference, among a majority of citizens who would like to understand and use it. The Graphic Law Library is a new resource designed by Justice Adda in partnership with the Hanns Seidel Foundation- India to make the law speak with the purpose of empowering and reducing informational barriers to legal rights and entitlements. This work builds upon an Illustrated E- Book of Supreme Court cases brought out by Justice Adda and Manupatra which sought to communicate significant rulings from the Supreme Court in formats that were both simple and engaging.
The Graphic Law Library is a living archive that takes different legal content from legislations to basic procedures and redesigns them in interactive and actionable formats. These include in the form of primers, info-graphics and briefs. The Library places an emphasis on communicating the law with the clear intention of speaking to the end-user. Through plain language combined with storytelling, illustrations, and a relatable design narrative, the project hopes to demystify legal information and make it less intimidating for non-legal audiences.
In this way, the project seeks to provide readers whether individuals or Civil Society Organizations with a clear understanding of the law, as well as ways to use it. Through this project, we aim to balance the power differentials that emerge due to the density of legal information and argue that access to legal information is a core component of access to justice because a lack of awareness can lead to financial, symbolic and knowledge difference among citizens.
In the long run, we hope that this work will spur a debate about the importance of communicating the law in ways that it can be meaningful and empowering for the citizen, and it is our ambition to be able to get judicial institutions in the country to speak not just to lawyers, but also to the citizenry. Doing so, will allow citizens to be more proactive, and provide capacities for richer debates in our societies.
Project Funded by
This project was developed in partnership with Hanns Seidel Foundation – India
The legal aid society of V.M. Salgaocar College of Law helped with doing research on basic legal procedures and a series of lawyers, policy professionals, activists and designers affiliated with the Justice Adda team have worked on demystifying legislations.
What is the impact?
The Graphic Law Library was launched in January 2021, and we are currently in the process of connecting with legal aid organisations, universities and schools to share the resource. It is open access and free to download. We will also be bringing out versions of the library in different languages soon.
Resources by Justice Adda | © all rights reserved
Links to read more:
Justice Adda recently published an E- Book with Manupatra, a leading legal publisher on Illustrated Cases of the Supreme Court of India. It can be accessed here.
Justice Adda has worked previously with the Cambridge Pro Bono Project (“CPP”), University of Cambridge, to produce a handbook on designing socially responsible law firms in India which was published in 2018 and can be accessed here.
Justice Adda is providing law and storytelling outputs on a project related to the future of work and women in the global south in cooperation with IDRC Canada, Erasmus University Rotterdam, University of Hyderabad, and University of Chittagong. The project is called FemLab.Co
About Justice Adda:
Justice Adda is a law and design social enterprise that brings together a community of innovators, legal and development practitioners, technologists, designers, activists, academics and students who seek to make conversations about justice more accessible to citizens. Through our projects, we aim to build inclusive approaches to designing legal content and products so that they are useful and usable to ensure access to justice for citizens.
In our work, we aim to aspire to design with our users and build collaborative solutions that can address critical challenges to India’s justice delivery system. Our work includes visual design projects around demystifying complex legal content, system design work into thinking about the barriers to justice particularly legal aid and pro bono and ways to find solutions to them, and training which include building experiential workshops on law and design thinking to co-create solutions to making the law for everyone.
Justice Adda was a part of the Cambridge Social Ventures programme in the Centre for Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School for 2016-17.