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Legal Aid and legal awareness

Concept note on drafted National Legal Aid Policy Consultation

Introduction

Legal aid, the right to representation when one cannot afford it, is a cornerstone of a just society where all people including the poor and vulnerable have equal access to legal and judicial services. In Somalia, Legal aid provision is limited to services provided by a small number of NGOs; access to legal aid is very rarely available at any stage of the criminal justice process, particularly in police stations and prisons; there are no comprehensive legal, institutional and policy frameworks at the national level to guide the provision and regulation of legal aid services. In view of these problems, it becomes essential to propose a number of reform measures to create a functioning legal aid system that will help establish institutions and mechanisms to promote access to justice for all. Therefore, the draft national legal aid policy prioritizes the improvement of the quality of the legal aid services, giving access to justice for all, training and awareness raising to citizens on constitutionally mandated rights.

To make sure the inclusiveness of the policy, the legal aid and legal awareness coordination unit is seeking to have the input of the all relevant stakeholders, including, but not limited to, regional member states, Bar Association, AGO, courts, legal aid providers and law schools.

Objectives of the consultation

  • Having the inputs of the regional states to decentralize the provision and management of the legal aid services of Somalia.
  • Discussing the legal aid strategies in the policy and recommending the suitable ones in the context of Somalia.
  • Discussing the role and responsibilities of the executive committee of the legal aid policy.
  • Discussing monitoring & evaluation of the quality of the legal aid service, and eligibility of the legal aid service beneficiaries.

Who will attend?