Curriculum for Women’s Land Training

NAMATI prepared this curriculum in response to a request for a two-day training for paralegals and three-day training for court monitors on what to look for in upholding women’s rights to land and property in Sierra Leone. The curriculum focuses on the following major questions:

  1. What are the structures and powers of local courts? What to look for when court monitoring?
  2. What are women’s rights to accessing property?
  3. What is the role of a paralegal when it comes to women’s access to land cases?

The curriculum aims to be comprehensive by including information needed for both paralegals and court monitors. Trainers should feel free to tailor the material to the goals of their specific training. For example, for the court monitor training, the facilitator may want to spend more time on Module 1 and little or no time on Module 3. The course includes discussion questions for the trainer to ask along the way to ensure participants are engaged and absorbing material. At the end of the curriculum, the trainer should break the participants into groups to work through the Practice Scenarios (see Handout 2). They should then present their answers to the class. Table of Contents: Overview 2 Module 1. What are the structures and powers of local courts? What is the role of a court monitor? 2

  1. A) Introduction 2
  2. B) What is a Court? 3
  3. C) Court Structure 3
  4. Local Court 3
  5. District Appeals Court 4
  6. Magistrates’ Court 4
  7. High Court 5
  8. Appeals Court 5
  9. Supreme Court 5
  10. D) What is Monitoring? 6
  11. E) What is Court Monitoring? 6
  12. F) Who is a Court Monitor? 6
  13. G) Duties of a Court Monitor 6
  14. H) Why Monitor Court Processes? 7
  15. I) Types of Information that a Court Monitor May Collect 7

Module 2. What are women’s rights to land in Sierra Leone? 8

  1. A) What are the basics of land law in Sierra Leone? 8
  2. Provinces 9
  3. Western Area 10
  4. B) What are women’s rights with regards to land? 10
  5. Customary Law 11
  6. Constitutional Provisions 13
  7. National Statutory Law 13
  8. International Commitments 15

Module 3. What is the general role of a paralegal? 16

  1. A) What are paralegals? 16
  2. B) Why are paralegals needed? 16
  3. C) What exactly does a paralegal do? 17

Handout #1: Land Dispute Resolution in the Provinces 20 Handout #2: Practice Scenarios 21