• Robert Spicer

Poverty and the Law

Poverty is not a legal issue. Poverty exists because wealth is unevenly distributed. The solution for dealing with poverty is the redistribution of wealth. This self-evident truth is widely accepted but seldom put into effect.

Law and lawyers have some influence on the fringes of poverty. They may be involved in welafre rights work. Human rights lawyers have a very limited role in poverty issues, because the emphasis of human rights law is on bourgeois individual rights rather than fundamental collective rights. As has been commented, it is of little comfort to a starving child to know that his or her right, for example, to freedom of religion, is protected by a well-fed coterie of lawyers.

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