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Best Practices of Community Legal Advice Programs, Program Assessment and Recommendation

By: Walter Leitner International Human Rights Clinic

The goal of this handbook is to provide the Justice and Peace Commission (JPC) and the Carter Center with information and recommendations as they expand and improve the Community Legal Advisor program. The handbook presents best practices of community-based paralegal and legal advice organizations in developing economies and post-conflict settings in Africa and Asia, and provides a constructive analysis of JPC’s work based on comparative research and fieldwork in Liberia.

The handbook is divided into two sections. Part I presents comparative research on the best practices of community-based paralegal and legal advice organizations in Bangladesh, Kenya, Liberia, Malawi, Mali, Namibia, Nigeria, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Part II provides analysis and recommendations for how JPC can improve their CLA program in the following areas: supervision; training; case management; legal referrals and impact litigation; gender-based violence (GBV); land disputes; the advocate/mediator dilemma; monitoring courts and customary law bodies; mobile clinics; engaging with traditional leaders; and sustainability.

Table of Contents
Acknowledgements
Executive Summary and Recommendations

Part I: Best Practices of Community Legal Advice Programs in Africa and Asia
Balay Alternative Legal Advocates for Development Mindanaw (BALAOD), The Philippines
Bangladesh Rural Advancement Committee (BRAC), Bangladesh
The Black Sash, South Africa
Civil Resource Dvelopment and Documentation Centre (CIRDDOC), Nigeria
Clinique Juridique Deme So, Mali
Foundation for International Dignity (FIND), Liberia
Legal Advice Center-Kituo Cha Sheria (KCS), Kenya
Legal Assistance Center (LAC), Namibia
Legal Resources Foundation (LRF), Zimbabwe
Legal Rights and Natural Resources Center – Kasama Sa Kalikasan (LRC-KSK), The Philippines
Madaripur Legal Aid Association (MLAA), Bangladesh
National Alliance for the Development of Community Advice Offices (Nadcao), South Africa
Paralegal Advisory Service Institute (PASI), Malawi
Saligan, The Philippines
Timap for Justice, Sierra Leone
Women’s Aid Collective (WACOL), Nigeria

Part II: Program Assessment and Recommendations for the Justice and Peace Commission
Supervision
Monitor Qualifications and Training
Case Management
Legal Referrals and Impact Litigation
Gender-based Violence
Land
Advocate/Mediator Dilemma
Monitoring Courts and Customary Law Bodies
Mobile Clinics
Traditional Leaders
Sustainability and Government Recognition
Government Recognition and Regulation of Paralegals: Pros & Cons
Conclusion