[Featured Resource] Zambia National Legal Aid Policy 2018

This week’s featured resource is the Zambia National Legal Aid Policy 2018 from the Republic of Zambia, Ministry of Justice. This resource is an example of progressive laws that can protect and address the needs of the poor and the vulnerable in society and is important for legal empowerment practitioners in championing for access to justice

Access to justice is a fundamental human right in itself and essential for the protection and promotion of all other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. Without effective and affordable access to justice, people are denied the opportunity to claim their rights or challenge crimes, abuses or human rights violations committed against them

In its quest to address access to justice, the Government of Zambia has endeavoured to remedy the current gaps in the provision of legal aid by adopting a national Legal Aid Policy (hereafter referred to as the “Legal Aid Policy”) supported by appropriate legislation and regulations, installing a comprehensive legal aid system that is accessible, effective, credible and sustainable. On this basis, the Legal Aid Policy establishes a renewed regulatory and implementation framework for the provision, administration, coordination, regulation and monitoring of legal aid in Zambia.

The efficient and effective delivery of legal aid services will in turn enhance equal access to justice for the poor and vulnerable people in Zambia, in line with Zambia’s national and international commitments.

More about the Zambia National Legal Aid Policy 2018

This resource outlines policy guidelines for legal aid designed to contribute to legal empowerment of the poor and vulnerable groups through effective access to justice. The policy sets guidelines for the scope and delivery models for the provision of legal aid in Zambia and outlines the framework required in the implementation process by the Legal Aid Board and other stakeholders and for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of the different policy measures herein set out.

You can access this resource in our library at the following link:

As always, please let us know your thoughts on this resource by commenting below.


The Featured Resource is a short profile of a key resource found in the resource library of the Global Legal Empowerment Network. These resources can be older or brand new, but they all touch on important themes within legal empowerment. If you have a resource you would like to profile with the network, upload it directly at this link or email it to community@namati.org

4 Likes

Thanks for featuring this exciting new policy development from our friends in Zambia, @MohammedAman. Would love to hear any thoughts from some of our leading members in Zambia about their thoughts on the new policy. @phillipsabuni @MatildahMwamba @mathiaszimba @matb @Rexie @ChilesheK @chimembegeorge @gilbertyumba @raykaima @MosesPhiri @namuchanamushabati

Zambia looks to be the next country to officially recognize paralegals in their legal aid system and this new legal aid policy from earlier this year is a strong, progressive step forward towards formal regulation. The overall focus is on broadening the provision of legal services by integrating CSOs, university law clinics, and paralegals into the legal aid system formally, which are refreshing words to read. While I find community paralegals critical to all of the policy objectives laid out in chapter 4, their recognition, accreditation and training are outlined as a specific focus.

Also, Section 5.1.2 on the new “Paralegal Standing Committee” is of particular interest as it designates 3 different levels of paralegals: Level 3: Paralegal skills award level, Level 2: Paralegal trade test level 2, and Level 1: Paralegal certificate level, as outlined here:

5.1.2 PARALEGAL STANDING COMMITTEE AT THE LEGAL AID BOARD i. In order to cater for additional functions related to the accreditation of Legal Aid Service Providers (LASPs) and the regulation of paralegals, it is proposed that the LAB constitutes a multi stakeholder Paralegal Standing Committee which will include paralegals, CSOs, legal practitioners, representatives from the LAB and other relevant institutions as constituted by the LAB; ii. It is proposed that the LAB Paralegal Standing Committee carries out the following functions as delegated by the LAB: a. Advise the LAB on the further development of quality assurance mechanisms for paralegals, including registration requirements, training scheme, quality standards and professional ethics, and disciplinary process; b. Review the application for registration of paralegals levels 3, 2 and 1, and instruct the LAB Secretariat to issue certificates to applications that fulfil the registration criteria; and c. Perform such other functions as may be assigned to it by the LAB.

Perhaps this would be interesting for some of our members who are pushing forward community paralegal recognition efforts in other countries, like @poltenko and @Olga_Halchenko, @mitali, @Lucimasu, @fatimaadamu. We are hoping to organize some discussions with you all soon, but flagging this development with you here for now.

2 Likes

Interesting! I would appreciate it if we could share the experience to other African countries.

3 Likes

Wonderful initiatives,credit to Zambia

2 Likes

Dear Michael,

Its really an exciting moment for paralegal organisations and those who have been championing paralegal recognition in Zambia. The National Legal Ad Policy was approved October 2018 and the Ministry of Justice later set up a committee to revise the Legal Aid Act so that it is aligned to the new policy. This work has been concluded and we have submitted the revised document to the drafting department in the Ministry for drafting. Later it will be sent to Parliament for enactment as a way of implementing the policy. Furthermore, implementation of the policy is underway as trainings of paralegals in those different 3 levels has commenced. All paralegals will be registered by the Legal Aid Board and accredited as soon as the Act is amended.

I will be available to share more if need be.

Best wishes.

Phillip

2 Likes

Thanks for sharing, @phillipsabuni - very exciting moment indeed! Of course we would appreciate it if you could keep us updated on the progress and later consider putting together a national paralegal recognition research brief with us to add to our resource guide on the subject.

Looking forward to more positive developments! :sunny:

Dear Michael,

Its really an exciting moment for paralegal organisations and those who have been championing paralegal recognition in Zambia. The National Legal Ad Policy was approved October 2018 and the Ministry of Justice later set up a committee to revise the Legal Aid Act so that it is aligned to the new policy. This work has been concluded and we have submitted the revised document to the drafting department in the Ministry for drafting. Later it will be sent to Parliament for enactment as a way of implementing the policy. Furthermore, implementation of the policy is underway as trainings of paralegals in those different 3 levels has commenced. All paralegals will be registered by the Legal Aid Board and accredited as soon as the Act is amended.

You can publish this information Michael if it is relevant for the benefit of others.

I will be available to share if need be.

Best wishes.

Phillip


How likely are you to recommend the Global Legal Empowerment Network?



Thank you. What can we do better?

Thank you. What can be improved?

Fabulous! What do you like most?

Thanks for giving feedback! If you’re reporting a problem, please tell us what you were doing when the problem occurred, what you expected to happen and what actually happened.

 

skip this step