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Enhancing the Legal Profession’s Capacity for Innovation: The Promise of Reflective Practice and Action Research for Increasing Access to Justice

Michele M. Leering,

Recent national reports have documented growing justice gaps in Canada and have identified a compelling need for innovation in the justice sector to better meet the needs of the public. Nurturing a greater capacity for individual, collective, and critical reflection will ensure the legal profession is much better equipped to respond creatively and strategically to…

Brief on the Importance of Legal Aid in HIV Prevention and Treatment

Open Society Foundations,

For criminalized populations such as drug users, sex workers, and men who have sex with men, difficulties with the legal system impose a substantial barrier to HIV prevention and treatment. In multiple countries, HIV prevention programs have documented police harassment at methadone and needle exchange sites, prosecution for possession of sterile injection paraphernalia, and detention or police questioning as…

Social Assistance: A Reference Guide For Paralegals

Penny Morrell, Ratula Beukman, Black Sash: Making Human Rights Real,

This reference guide is part of a series of Black Sash guides for paralegals and other people and organizations who provide advice regarding people’s socio-economic rights. It draws on the Black Sash’s extensive experience of assisting people with difficulties in accessing social assistance – with a view to enriching your understanding of this area of…

Increasing Local Participation and Benefit in Mali’s Mining Sector

Amadou Keita, Moussa Djire, Kadari Traore, Kader Traore, Djibonding Dembele, Arouna Dembele, Mamadou Samassekou, Moussa Doumbo,

In Mali, land and natural resources are central to economies and societies. The livelihoods of most rural people are based on these resources. In recent years, outside players have also become increasingly interested in Mali’s natural resources – particularly valuable subsoil resources like minerals. Mali’s mining sector has grown greatly since the early 1990s, with…

Access to Justice and Legal Empowerment: Making the Poor Central in Legal Development Co-operation

Ineke Van De Meene, Benjamin Van Rooij,

How law can aid development has been the focus of much recent discussion among development workers, scholars and policymakers. Indeed, reforms to improve poor people’s access to justice and to promote their legal empowerment comprise the latest trend in legal development cooperation.The Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, for example, allocated 21% of its “legal and…

Prison Legal Aid Clinics in West Bengal: Bringing Justice Closer?

Amrita Paul, Madhurima Dhanuka, Commonwealth Human Rights Institute,

This report highlights the lack of uniformity in the functioning of legal aid clinics across correctional homes in West Bengal and urges for issuance of guidelines and procedures to streamline their operations. It is a comparative study of different models of legal aid clinics that operate at present in six correctional homes. The lack of…

Manual For Paralegal Volunteers

Jharkhand State Legal Services Authority (JHALSA),

The Access to Justice Project for Marginalized Persons has been implemented by Department of justice and United Nations Development Programme. The key interventions of the Project have been in the field of legal awareness, legal aid and empowerment of the marginalized communities and judicial reform through technical support provided to the National Mission on Justice…

International Legal Aid Group Conference Country Report: Canada

Michele M. Leering, Legal Services Society British Columbia, Legal Aid Ontario,

The responsibility for delivering legal aid services in Canada lies with the provincial and territorial governments. The governing legislation and the administrative structure for operationalizing the services differs in each province and territory. For the purposes of this 2015 National Report, two Canadian provinces, British Columbia (B.C.) and Ontario, are featured. Both are engaged in…

Learning about Women’s Empowerment in the Context of Development Projects: Do the Figures Tell Us Enough?

Jane Carter, Sarah Byrne, Kai Schrader, Humayun Kabir, Zenebe Bashaw Uraguchi, Bhanu Pandit, Badri Manandhar, Merita Barileva, Norbert Pijls, Pascal Fendrich,

In this article, we consider three projects implemented by Helvetas Swiss Intercooperation: a project in Nepal focusing on capacity building (vocational skills training); a project in Bangladesh focusing on income generation; and a project in Kosovo working on agency – enhancing the voice of citizens in local governance. The article examines how donor requirements for…

Access to Justice: Evaluating the Law, Health and Human Rights Programmes in Kenya

Sofia Gruskin, Kelly Safreed-Harmon, Tamar Ezer, Anne Gathumbi, Jonathan Cohen, Patricia Kameri-Mbote,

In Kenya, human rights violations have a marked impact on the health of people living with HIV. Integrating legal literacy and legal services into healthcare appears to be an effective strategy to empower vulnerable groups and address underlying determinants of health. Legal empowerment programmes have the potential to promote accountability, reduce stigma and discrimination and contribute…

New Handbook for Environment Justice Practitioners in India

Posted by Namati in Environment

Handbook on Legal and Administrative Remedies for Community Level Environment Justice Practitioners in India   The Centre for Policy Research-Namati Environmental Justice Program has produced an indispensable new handbook that helps environment justice practitioners in India to identify and use appropriate legal clauses and institutional routes in their work.  Environment justice practitioners, or grassroots environment paralegals,…

President Koroma Declared ‘Honorary Paralegal’ as he Launches Legal Aid Board

Posted by Daniel Sesay in General

President Koroma of Sierra Leone has strongly committed his government’s support to legal aid and the work of paralegals. He made the announcement during the formal launch of the legal aid board that Namati helped bring into existence in Freetown on Thursday 19th November 2015. Namati and other civil society groups advocated for the passage of the…

Exploring the community level impact of paralegals in rural Sierra Leone

Posted by Sonkita Conteh in Community Paralegals / Grassroots Legal Advocates

This article originally appeared in Sierra Express Media. Introduction A previous article by the author explored the work and impact of community-based paralegals in the lives of ordinary people in rural areas, through the lens of a number of case studies depicting real life justice problems of individuals and how paralegals helped resolve them. That effort…

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