Call for Papers: Access to Justice in the Americas

Call for Papers - Access to Justice in America

A consortium of academic, public defender, and activist networks across the Americas have combined to bring together diverse perspectives on access to justice for vulnerable people. This innovative project aims at mapping the current debates facing institutional legal responses to a broad spectrum of issues ranging from chronic social problems to humanitarian crisis in the Americas. We are deeply interested in fostering an intercontinental debate in order to allow a better exchange of knowledge, experiences, and strategies acquired by professionals, activists, organizations, and researchers. This collaboration will contribute to analyzing the advantages and limits of current institutional designs, reporting leading-edge actions, enlarging the network of human rights defenders, and proposing original solutions for a more accessible justice system. Submissions will be peer-reviewed and, if selected, will be published in the first edition of the “Access to Justice in the Americas” e-book.


The project seeks papers from professionals, researchers, and activists that address one or more of the following topics:

  1. Models of access to justice – the history, evolution, and institutional challenges of the different models for organizing and delivering publicly funded legal services for vulnerable people in different countries and regions of the Americas (Ex.: legal aid certificates, community legal clinics, and the public defenders’ offices)
  2. Cases of strategic Human Rights litigation and advocacy that illustrate the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges of different models of access to justice;
  3. Institutional reforms, innovative institutional designs, and proposals for effective access to justice for vulnerable populations and minorities (black people, indigenous peoples, immigrants, refugees, women, lgbti+, among others), and for democratic participation in the justice system;
  4. The relationship between cultures of Human Rights and models of access to justice;
  5. Access to justice in the Inter-American Human Rights System;
  6. Legal pluralism and access to justice for vulnerable people;
  7. Institutional politics and political relations between institutions dedicated to access to justice, government and civil society;


Authors can choose between a one-stage or two-stage submission. You can either submit an abstract only for the first deadline (December 31) and then, if approved, submit the full article for the second deadline (April 30) or you can submit both abstract and article for the first deadline (December 31) in order to have a faster response from the Academic Committee.

  1. Abstracts should be written in at least two languages among English, French, Portuguese or Spanish in Times New Roman, single-spaced, 12-point font, maximum 500 words.
  2. Articles should be written in English, French, Portuguese or Spanish in Times New Roman, double-spaced, 12-point font, and be between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length.
  3. Submissions should include author(s) contact information, author(s) biography (maximum of 200 words per author), submission title, abstract, and article. If you already have a full article, you can submit it along with the abstract for a faster response to your submission.
  4. Abstracts and articles must include word count.
  5. Photographs and graphs should be on a separate page(s) following the last page of the article and before the reference page.
  6. Photographs and graphs should include a figure number, description, and source.
  7. Manuscripts should follow the APA Manual of Style author-date format for citations and references. Instructions in the link
  8. Abstracts and articles will be approved according to peer review
  9. Each submission can have up to four co-authors.
  10. Abstracts and papers should be submitted in Word format only via the link


Authors will retain the copyright of submitted material and grant the Academic Committee permission to publish articles under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International license ( Authors are responsible for securing copyright and fair use notices, if required, and must submit them prior to publication. The Academic Committee is not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from submission.


Fist deadline for Abstract submission: December 31, 2019

Answer to Abstract submission: February 29, 2020

Second deadline for full Article submission: April 30, 2020

Book release: December 2020


Do you have any questions to the editor, special request or need some early feedback on your manuscript? Please contact us by the e-mail:


The Academic Committee is composed of experts from the

  • Central University of Ecuador
  • Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas de México
  • Fluminense Federal University
  • Instituto de Investigación y Estudios en Cultura de Derechos Humanos, Mexico   
  • National University of Colombia
  • State University of Rio de Janeiro
  • University of Buenos Aires
  • University of Chile
  • University of Montreal
  • University of Ottawa
  • University of Sao Paulo
Call for Papers - Access to Justice in America


This call for papers and the e-book is supported by the following institutions:

  • Bloc of Official Public Defenders of Mercosur - BLODEPM
  • Brazilian National Association of Public Defenders - ANADEP
  • Ceara State Association of Public Defenders - ADPEC
  • Fórum Justiça - FJ
  • Human Rights Research and Education Centre of the University of Ottawa ­- HRREC
  • Instituto de Investigación y Estudios en Cultura de Derechos Humanos - CULTURADH
  • Instituto de Pesquisa Direitos e Movimentos Sociais - IPDMS
  • Interamerican Association of Public Defenders’ Offices - AIDEF
  • Projet Accès au Droit et à la Justice - ADAJ
  • Rio de Janeiro State Association of Public Defenders – ADPERJ
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