The LAC, which has 163 members, including 101 lawyers, deals with civil proceedings, bail for pre-trial detention, violations, legal advice, outreach programmes, and provides legal assistance through the media and legal aid offices. It is generally recognized that access to justice is a fundamental right and an important means of realizing other rights and combating injustice and poverty. Occasional observation of access to justice in Ethiopia shows that despite the government`s efforts in recent years to improve the situation, the situation is far from being properly implemented. This chapter summarizes legal and policy frameworks for access to justice in Ethiopia to identify gaps in policies, laws and practices. Finally, the Committee recommends that a human rights-based approach to access to justice be considered as a way forward and that lessons can be drawn from the international access to justice movement in this regard. The delays and discrimination faced by women in the legal system is a major challenge. Evidence-based research on the actual process of accessing remedies for advocacy at the national level is ongoing. Nelum Gamage, a LAC consultant, said the practice is for clients seeking legal help or advice on visiting LAC centres. “With the introduction of mobile clinics, we have been able to reach people in remote areas who do not have access to IBC services. Most people don`t know that their civil problems can have a legal solution, either through the courts or through other means such as remittances,” she said. The Commission also uses legal clinics, seminars, conferences, radio and television programmes and newspapers to raise public awareness. He said that in other countries, legal aid was mainly granted to defendants who could not afford a lawyer, in criminal cases: “Traditionally, this service in our country has been limited to civil cases. But now the LAC also appears in criminal cases before the court of first instance all over the island, for defendants who cannot afford legal support,” he said.
Contact details: Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka, High Court Complex, 129, Hultsdorp Street, Colombo 12. Tel: 011- 2 433 618 / 5 835 329, Tele/Fax 011- 2 395 894, E-mail: email@example.com, Website: www.law-aid.org Suriya has been working to eliminate violence against women in Batticaloa since 2000. We have responded to over 4500 cases over the past 16 years and see an average of 23 women per month come to our office for emergency help or legal assistance/counselling. We encourage and empower women who have experienced violence to take steps to get out of this situation. Speaking at a conference on the Legal Aid Commission`s “Equal Access to Justice” project, in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme and the Ministry of National Languages and Social Inclusion, he said the project aimed to educate the public about their rights and obligations in order to improve their legal knowledge. The right of access to justice is very important. It offers an individual the opportunity to defend his or her freedoms and property before an impartial tribunal. However, some people may not be able to represent themselves in court due to different social and economic circumstances. Pro bono Legal Services, notes these people since lawyers advise and represent them pro bono.
Sometimes it is very difficult for individuals to turn to lawyers who are willing to help them. Pro bono clearing houses connect lawyers who are willing to offer free legal services with those who need them. The document, based on European pro bono practices and effective European pro bono clearing-house mechanisms, recommends the establishment and operation of pro bono clearing-house mechanisms in Tanzania to improve access to justice. Sri Lanka has a rich history of accessing justice for marginalized and vulnerable populations through the provision of legal aid. The main provider of legal aid is the Legal Aid Commission, which operates at the district level throughout the country. There are also a number of non-governmental organizations that provide legal assistance to different populations, the most extensive services for women victims of violence by women in need. This article traces the recent history of legal aid in Sri Lanka and describes the current state of legal aid. It should stimulate critical reflection and analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of legal aid as an element of access to justice in Sri Lanka to promote and promote positive reforms. The Handbook is intended as a practical guide for the development and implementation of policies and programmes to ensure timely access to legal aid, including through the application of international standards set out in the United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems. Judge Nissanka Udalagama, who oversees LAC`s activities in the Northern Province, said: “In the north, most people did not have basic documents such as network cards, birth certificates, marriage certificates, land titles, identity papers and other related documents.