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Delivering Justice to Sierra Leone’s Poor: An Analysis of the Work of Timap for Justice

By: Pamela Dale

Timap is an independent Sierra Leonean paralegal organization active in Sierra Leone since 2004. It aims to bring justice and conflict-resolution services to poor and marginalized communities while simultaneously increasing their own capacity to seek and advocate for better justice services. To achieve this, Timap works closely with both sides of Sierra Leone‘s dualist legal system— understanding and engaging with the formal government and rule system while recognizing and working with embedded local justice and governance structures and value systems.

This report presents an analysis of the theory, methods, and, to a much lesser extent, impact of Timap for Justice (Timap). Timap is a not-for-profit organization offering free justice services in sites across Sierra Leone. Through 13 offices in the country‘s northern and southern provinces and a headquarters office in Freetown, Timap’s trained paralegals and two lawyer-directors use a combination of mediation, negotiation, education, advocacy, and occasionally litigation to attempt to resolve disputes, promote community activism and agency, and develop equitable and responsive institutions.