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Legal Aid to launch Access to Justice campaign

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Legal Aid to launch Access to Justice campaign

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According to the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Board, Ms. Fatmata Claire Carlton-Hanciles, the Attorney General has been honoured with launching the campaign for ensuring remand inmates who had been literally forgotten at the Pademba Road Correctional Center are served indictments. 

Ms. Carlton-Hanciles said the campaign will impact everybody regardless of location and status. ‘We have been expanding our presence upcountry since August and the launch will coincide with the deployment of six lawyers who will be based in six district headquarter towns,’ she said. ‘Each lawyer will provide legal services to the poor and vulnerable in two districts. Also, our Outreach officers and Paralegals who have been deployed since August will step up legal education through community outreach events in every corner of the country.’

According to Ms. Carlton-Hanciles, the campaign will see the setting up of Community Advisory Bureaus in Wards around the country. These Bureaus will be the first port of call for members of the community who have law and order issues. They will mediate cases which fall within their remit and the others they will refer to the Police, Ministries Land, Labour and Social Welfare and relevant Institutions and organizations as the case may be. 

Also, the campaign will include the implementation of the ‘Child Protection under the Law’ programme to assist with enforcing the rights of children especially relating to the Child Rights Acts and the Sexual Offences Act.  According to Ms. Carlton-Hanciles, issues of early marriage, teenage pregnancy and domestic violence will be a priority for the programme.

Ms.  Carlton-Hanciles hinted that even though the campaign will be led by the Legal Aid Board Aid, Trusted Partners in civil society will have a massive role to play in ensuring it creates maximum impact. ‘They have the numbers which are a rich resource we will tap into,’ she said.  ‘They will be involved in legal education and will also be empowered through training to mediate minor non-criminal offences within their respective organizations.’

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