Martin Prokop

Ashoka Fellow

Citation

This profile was prepared when Martin Prokop was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
Martin firmly believes that one of the basic conditions of an open civil society is a functioning legal environment that balances the interests of the individual with the public. Based on his previous experiences and an awareness of the legal environment and practices in Czech society, he has instigated a public interest law movement to enable citizens and their organizations to engage more effectively in the democratic process. Martin's organization–the Public Interest Law Association–works to transform several dimensions of the law.
The association strategically pursues changes in areas of the law most critical to public interest. Through lobbying and drafting legislation, Martin and his colleagues address policies that target specific cases setting precedents in crucial areas. The association encourages broader citizen participation by engaging law schools, citizen organizations, and diverse community members in all aspects of common, civil, and legislative law. Martin also protects the rights of individuals and interest groups by offering legal aid.
His organization harnesses the collective power of professional and citizen interest groups both to build economies of scale in management, training, representation, lobbying, and fundraising and to encourage democracy and advance the public interest throughout the Czech Republic.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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