The Paralegal Alliance Network (PAN) is a consortium of 15 non-governmental Legal Aid Service Providers (LASPs) in Zambia. PAN’s mission is to leverage the collective power of its network members to improve access to justice for all indigents including persons with disabilities thus challenging the acute discrimination experienced by this constituency throughout the justice chain. Formed in 2000, PAN was registered as a company by guarantee under PACRA and as an NGO under the NGO Act in 2013.
The aim of PAN is to enhance the capacity of its member organisations in offering legal aid services to the poor and vulnerable groups, by strengthening the role of paralegals in the justice system.
The network collaborates with training institutions such as the National Institute for Public Administration (NIPA), the University of Zambia (UNZA) and the Zambia Institute of Advanced Legal Education (ZIALE) to develop curriculum and train paralegals. The developed curricula were approved by the Ministry of Education through the Technical Vocation Education Training Authority (TEVETA) and the School of Law at the University of Zambia that supports Skills Award certified community-based paralegal trainings through accreditation. PAN Secretariat coordinates paralegal trainings for member organisations to ensure consistency and accountability of developed standards.
PAN also collaborates with various key state departments and institutions to ensure access to justice for all. PAN is a member of the Communication, Cooperation and Coordination Initiative under the Access to Justice Programme in the Ministry of Justice.
Since PAN’s inception, more than 1,000 paralegals have been trained. The network also developed reference and training manuals for paralegals. Year by year members have been able to see an increase in cases handled by paralegals, an indication that the Zambian population increasingly utilizes paralegal services.
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