Community Paralegals: Posing the Hard Questions
Access to justice expert, Leanne McKay, blogs about the African Regional Workshop for Community-Based Paralegals. The workshop provided the first-ever opportunity for paralegal programs across the region to discuss strategies for addressing some of the challenges they face in executing their programs.
50 African Organizations Adopt Kampala Declaration on Community Paralegals
The Kampala Declaration on Community Paralegals, issued today, reflects a new push to seek wider government recognition of the role of paralegals in resolving conflict, supporting access to state services, and fighting corruption. More than fifty organizations from twenty African countries are urging governments to strengthen access to justice and accountability across the continent by embracing the potential of community paralegals.
Manonkoh Village Demands Redress from London Mining Company
Residents of the Manonkoh Village in Sierra Leone have unanimously agreed to take the London Mining Company to court for destroying 350 hectares of farmland. Namati stands with the people of Manonkoh to demand redress from the flooding. Program director Sonkita Conteh weighs in on the matter with a letter to the company.
Guyana Launches Pilot Paralegal Program
The government of Guyana launched a paralegal program in Region Nine, as part of a broader effort to improve the administration of justice. Paralegals will mediate, educate citizens about their rights and obligations, and direct people to problem-solving resources and forums.
To renew public confidence, behavior in the Sierra Leonean judiciary must change
Namati Sierra Leone Director, Sonkita Conteh, provides a critical view of the current state of justice in Sierra Leone. With public approval of the judiciary at an all-time low, Conteh argues that fundamental changes in professional behavior and attitudes are necessary to renew citizens’ faith in justice institutions.
Namati’s CEO on Legal Empowerment at Stanford University
At Stanford University’s Global Crossroads conference on radical political transitions, Namati CEO Vivek Maru elaborated on the transformative role paralegals play in delivering justice to disadvantaged citizens around the world.
Sierra Leone: Serving Justice Outside the Courts
The future for effective justice delivery is bright after the passage of the Sierra Leone’s legal aid bill. Namati’s Sonkita Conteh explains that “the potential is huge,” although care must be taken to monitor and support the work of non-state justice providers like paralegals.
How Malawi Put Access to Justice on the UN Agenda
Clifford Msiska, head of Malawi’s Paralegal Advisory Service Institute (PASI) and a member of Namati’s Network Guidance Committee, is interviewed about his efforts to promote community-based paralegals and other legal aid models at the international level, successes of past years, and challenges that lie ahead.
Comprehensive legal aid legislation on the cards in Tanzania
The government of Tanzania is planning to put in place a legal framework to serve as a criterion for eligibility to legal aid and supervision of legal aid services. The funding mechanism, “Legal Services Facility,” will be channeled to organizations providing legal aid in Tanzania Mainland and Zanzibar.
Sierra Leone Parliament Passes Landmark Legal Aid Law
Sierra Leone passed a landmark legal aid law, which explicitly recognizes and provides a framework for scaling up justice services. Namati’s work in the country is building a nationwide frontline of community paralegals providing primary justice services. Namati Program Director, Sonkita Conteh, was instrumental in providing technical input and support for the bill throughout the legislative process.