Code of conduct and ethics information for community based paralegals

We have been working towards paralegal recognition for a few years now. In Nigeria, we have the legal Aid act that recognizes paralegals and legal aid providing organizations on paper. This law empowers the Legal Aid Act to certify and license practitioners who have undergone specific training which is not specified. Efforts to reach out to the LACON has been unacknowledged. In order to get our paralegals licensed, we are working with the NBA who have registered their concerns. The major area of concerns being related to impersonation, checking of paralegal excesses, regulations, code of conduct and paralegal ethics Looking forward to learning from all of you.

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Sounds like very important work! I think the team in Myanmar might have some resources about this - are there any resources you could point to @KhinHtetWai @yeyinth @NyiNyiHtwe @caitlinpierce?

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Myanmar, please do you have resources you can point us to? @NyiNyiHtwe @nantthithioo please respond.

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Dear Fatima,

@FatimaAdamu @MarenaBrinkhurst

Here is the resource for community-based paralegals’ ethics that is we currently practice in the community.

Best, Nyi Nyi

Paralegal Ethics and Actions (Namati Myanmar).pdf (10.6 KB)

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Thank you very much for sharing @NyiNyiHtwe

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Hi @fatimaadamu - this is very exciting news, I know that there are many members in Nigeria interested in further professionalization of paralegals there. It is interesting that the bar association has registered concerns around ethics and codes of conduct for paralegals - a good sign that they are willing to engage in discussion and are thinking through reasonable concerns.

@MariaPetersen, @stellaobita - do you have any code of conducts or ethics guidelines for paralegals to share with Fatima? Or @marlonmanuel, @reneclem - do you have any from the Philippines? @danielsesay?

We will be sure to include these in the How to develop a community paralegal program online resource guide too!

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Hi Fatima,

This is another great document you can use for developing a code of ethics for paralegals . It is based on USA -paralegal practice but am sure you will find it relevant . It can be found at

https://www.nala.org/certification/nala-code-ethics-and-professional-responsibility]

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That`s a great idea Michael… with the growing number of paralegals, it would be great to develop code of ethics for paralegal practice, concurrently with training manuals. I have found a US code of ethics for paralegals, which I believe can provide great insights towards this initiative.

https://www.nala.org/certification/nala-code-ethics-and-professional-responsibility

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Thanks for sharing this, @stellaobita - very interesting.

It is typically easier too find codes of conduct for commercial paralegals working directly for lawyers, like the NALA example above, and while they are useful, often a community paralegal code of conduct contains important differences. I began searching older paralegal manuals that I have seen and found the following three example codes of conduct for our friend, @fatimaadamu:

  1. Paralegal Training Manual – Bundibugyo District Uganda - This manual by Global Rights in Uganda has a good overall example on pages 11-13.

  2. Energising the Criminal Justice System in Malawi: A Paralegal Aid Service - This resource from our friends at PASI in Malawi contains a useful code of conduct on pages 17-18 (@cliffmsiska).

  3. Namibia Access to Justice Paralegal Manual - Another positive example of a code of conduct can be found on page 127.

Fatima, we all look forward to hearing more from you about progress in Kano State and also what the code of conduct looks like in the end! :sunny:

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Michael,

Thank you so much.

Clifford

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Hello Micheal, thanks for sharing. The ethics from global rights is the same one weve always used. Namati Myanmar have shared theirs and it was really useful. We would look at other links shared by you now. Thank you very much , we promise to post the final document here for inputs.

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Fatima, I’ve just emailed you the latest version of the ‘Code of Conduct’ developed by our paralegals here in Lagos (which I believe you already have!). However, our experience is that codes of conduct are most effective when developed by those to whom they are intended to apply – in this case our paralegals. By participating in the creation of the code of conduct, paralegals then have more buy-in, ownership over, and commitment to adhering to the code. Moreover, they are more likely to hold each other to adhering to the standard that they collectively developed and agreed to. This is one instance where I think process is as important (if not more important) than outcome.

Cheers, Andrew

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That is an important point, thanks for sharing @andrewmaki. I would be interested in hearing about the process in a bit more detail - was this done in an in-person session or was there more of an effort to include consultation over a longer period?

Anything else you could share would be insightful, including the code of conduct itself, if you were willing to do so.

Many thanks!

Thank you @Andrew Maki for sharing. It was very helpful along side all others shared. Just like Andrew, we work on all materials with our paralegals. In our case, materials developed have to be further translated into Huasa Language and tested for understanding and interpretation. We would soon share a copy of the rule book that contains ethics. Thank you all

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I have few duties & guidelines regarding Code of Conduct for paralegals in Microsoft Office Word Document format. But due to being new user unable to upload attachment here.

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Hi @Nadia_Khan, you can simply upload them here by dragging them over the space where you type and dropping the file into this box, or you can upload them at this link of our resource library. Likewise, you can email me at michaelotto@namati.org and I will add the files here too.

Thanks!

Hi Michael! I have sent you an email with attachment on the email address given by you, please take a look if there is any error regarding font or anything else before uploading. Thanks!

Regards: Nadia Gul! (Advocate).

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Our Resolutions 2018 is to partner with the Law society of Kenya and National Human Rights Commssion to train willing youths as paralegals.

Aim is to empower for income generating but mostly to be helpful to the Community.

Thank You.

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Thanks @mariahoyier - youth paralegals are an innovative way to inspire younger generations and build their knowledge on the law and legal empowerment. We had an earlier post on youth paralegals with lots of materials that you may find useful with your 2018 resolutions.

Also, better late than never- I am including the code of conduct sent from @Nadia_Khan with my apologies for not checking back to this post! You can find them here:

Code of Conduct for Paralegals.docx (21.5 KB)

@mariahoyier - do the paralegals you work with have a code of conduct?

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Thank you @michaelotto I will go through @Nadia_Khan snd get back. Yes we have Code of Conduct too. Will upload soonest Thank you once again.

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