Reimagining the relationship between Legal Capability and the Capabilities Approach
journal contributionposted on 2021-10-29, 09:37 authored by Dawn Watkins
Within the literature on public legal education and legal capability, it is commonly stated that the concept of legal capability is closely related to the capabilities approach. This paper critically examines the nature of this relationship and in Part I seeks to demonstrate that whilst they share some broad affinity, the relationship between legal capability and the capabilities approach is currently disparate in both conceptual and practical terms. In Part II, the paper goes on to consider what might happen if this relationship is reimagined and the two fields brought closer together. Aspects of this reimagining are considered in turn under three headings: emphasising choice and opportunity, broadening perspective and promoting participatory approaches. The paper concludes by summarising the potential advantages and disadvantages of this proposed reimagining, and by raising questions as to whether the implications of establishing a closer relationship between legal capability and the capabilities approach warrant further exploration, or whether it is preferable for the distance to be maintained.
This work has been carried out at the foundational stages of a research project (FORTITUDE) which has received funding from the European Research Council under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (Grant agreement No. 818457).
CitationInternational Journal of Public Legal Education, Vol. 5 No. 1 (2021), 4-36
Author affiliationLeicester Law School
- VoR (Version of Record)