New IIED legal tools newsletter focuses on legal empowerment

News, 14 August 2017
The latest legal tools newsletter reports on how we are helping citizens exercise their rights in relation to land-related decisions and investments.

 The legal tools newsletter is sent out every three months (Image: IIED)

IIED's legal tools team works closely with partners in Africa and Asia to help rural people promote their rights, working on projects at the grassroots – and engaging at national and international levels.

The legal tools newsletter is designed to keep readers updated on our work.

The latest issue of the newsletter highlights a three-year grassroots legal empowerment programme in Cameroon, Ghana and Senegal. In Cameroon, the project trained junior lawyers, in Ghana it supported grassroots committees on local governance, and in Senegal it promoted locally negotiated land charters. The initiative shared learning between the three country teams – and with a wider international audience – with a report, a webinar and a blog.  

A related paper designed for practitioners and analysts explores how harnessing political economy analysis can help link the local to the global in legal empowerment interventions.

The newsletter also reports how the team is generating evidence on international investment treaties and arbitration. Lorenzo Cotula has written an open-access journal article that examines the relationship between democracy and international investment law, and calls for more effective mechanisms for citizen engagement in investment treaties. 

Projects to improve land governance

The newsletter reports on LandCam, a new project in Cameroon, co-ordinated by IIED. Cameroon's government plans to update land, forest, mining and environment laws. The planned reforms will have far-reaching implications for natural resource governance across the country. LandCam will help civil society engage effectively in the reform process.

A new senior researcher, Brendan Schwartz, has joined the legal tools team to work on the LandCam initiative. Schwartz has worked in Central and West Africa for many years.

The team is also starting implementation of a new initiative to strengthen women's voices in land governance. This project will focus on legal empowerment in relation to natural resource investments in Tanzania, Ghana and Senegal. In-country partners include TAWLA in Tanzania, NETRIGHT in Ghana and IED Afrique (website in French) in Senegal.

The newsletter also describes a recently completed piece of work that examined the impact of large-scale land acquisitions on ape conservation. Funded by the Arcus Foundation, the initiative supported case studies in Borneo and Cameroon, building an evidence base on the overlap between important areas for ape conservation and agribusiness development.


The newsletter highlights recent publications by the legal tools team. These include:

Sign up for more news

The legal tools newsletter is one of six email bulletins we issue to subscribers on a regular basis. The main IIED newsletter is published monthly and provides a round-up of all our latest work, including news, blogs, events, publications, briefings and job notifications. Sign up online to receive copies.

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