Who We Are

Community Legal Services (CLS) is a Department for International Development (DFID), UK supported project being implemented by a consortium consisting of Maxwell Stamp PLC, as principal contractor, and the British Council and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (UK), as partners. The CLS is a five-year programme and the implementation period is scheduled from August 2012 to August 2017. The main modality of the CLS is to provide grants to eligible NGOs in order to deliver community legal services.

What We Do

The CLS programme aims to provide greater access to justice to the poor, marginalised and socially excluded communities in Bangladesh. Its overall objective is to improve the quality and coverage of CLS in Bangladesh, build sustainability into CLS programme interventions of potential grant partners, and encourage and create an enabling environment for legal services NGOs and community based organisations to coordinate their activities for improved delivery of CLS to the target beneficiaries.

CLS Modalities - How We Work

Final Message from CLS Team Leader

In 2006, one of my first assignments in Bangladesh was contributing to an in-depth research study on ‘community legal services’ conducted by The Asia Foundation and commissioned by DFID. Little did I know that many years later I would have the opportunity to work on making that research a reality as Team Leader of the CLS Programme from March 2015 to its July 2017 end.

CLS has helped tens of thousands of Bangladeshis get justice, created demand for justice where there was little or none; created supply of justice by modernising local mediation that did not always serve the poor; linked

CLS Endline Perception Survey Report:
Significant Impacts on

Awareness, Satisfaction and Norms

Findings from the recently completed CLS Endline Perception Survey Report indicate that CLS activities have significantly improved the experience of justice for the poor and have also positively influenced community norms and practices that disempower the poor and women. The full report and a summary of key findings are available below:

UK Overseas Development Institute Releases Report on Access to Justice for the Poor:
‘Can NGOs Improve Justice in Bangladesh?’

Recently UK’s Overseas Development Institute (ODI) released a major study concluding that huge numbers of Bangladeshis are now aware of their legal rights and interactions with justice are now fairer as a result of CLS Programme NGO activities. The full report and Executive Summaries in English and Bangla can be found here:

Good Practice Reports

Learning Briefs

Faces of CLS - Who We Work For

CLS Endorsements