The Legal Information Needs of Civil Society in Zambia by Marc Masson and Ovais Tahir

The Legal Information Needs of Civil Society in Zambia

By Marc Julien Masson and Ovais Tahir
Published in Journal of Open Access to Law, Volume 4, Number 1 (2016)


This research seeks to assess the legal information needs of a variety of actors within Zambian civil society. We first determined the major ways in which civil society actors in Zambia, specifically civil society organisations, labour unions, and legal practitioners, access legal information. Secondly, we surveyed the limitations and barriers associated with these paths to accessing legal information. We found that the provision of openly accessible legal information relies on two factors: the ease of accessing legal information and the capacity of civil society to interpret and understand it. Major limitations to accessing and using publicly available legal information were found to be bureaucracy, financial costs, lack of legal knowledge, and the lack of computerisation and internet access. Major factors influencing the ability of civil society organizations to effectively use legal information were donor funding and capacity building services, as well as the use of paralegals.


Law; Legal Information; Unions; Civil Society Organisations; Non-Governmental Organisations; Inequality; Lawyers; Legal Practitioners; Access to Justice; Legal Information Institute; Zambia; Development; Paralegals; Capacity Building

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

The Author

The Right of Access to Legal Information

The Right of Access to Legal Information

Access (Right) to Legislation, Access (Right) to Judicial Decisions, Access (Right) to Public Information, Access (Right) to Government-held Information, Access to information, Right to Information
Copyright © 2015 The Right of Access to Legal Information