Starting a new legal aid program in Papua New Guinea

Thank you. Would like help in getting aid to get a program going in Papua New Guinea - we really need it as private legal aid very, very expensive.

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Hi, anyone can help me with promoting the idea of using para legals here in PNG. People are of the idea that lawyers are the only ones who can assist with community legal work and I would like to promote para legals with workshops or awareness if possible.

‘Paralegal’ is not a position recognised here in PNG. Most paralegals are those working with private legal firms. I worked with one for 26 years and have now opened my own consultancy which I use to assist my community or village with.

Therefore, I am interested in any ideas or suggestions as to how I can run program here and promote the idea here.

Please feel free to contribute suggestions.

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Hi Elsie,

Thanks very much for expressing interest to begin paralegal work in PNG, I’m providing resources that will help you understand the concept of paralegals - these two publications would provide useful resources for starting a paralegal program.

Community based paralegals_A practioners guid.pdf (610.1 KB) Between law and society _Paralegals and the provision of primary justice in Sierra Loene.pdf (1.5 MB)

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Hi @Elsie_Joseph,

I just caught this and wanted to add that we have compiled an online resource guide here on the site, which you can find here: How To Develop a Community Paralegal Program. In the various chapters, you will find sub sections filled with resources including sample forms, research and journal articles, training manuals, and much more!

We will be conducting a webinar around this resource guide too soon, if you are interested, I will be sure to include you in the discussion.

Hope that helps, let us know what you think! Best, Michael

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Thank you very much, Daniel

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Thanks alot. Michael

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Elsie_Joseph Thank you.The situation in Papua New Guinea is no difference to most Zambian rural set up where communities have no access to lawyers. Lawyers who are few are located in cities.Paralegal Alliance network (PAN) has for a long requested the ministry of Home Affairs to allow its members to provide legal services to prisons across the country. The was requested to give directive to all prison officers to allow Paralegals in prisons and give legal advice to suspects and prisoners.It is grateful to note that on 5th November 2015 Prisons authorities well directed by the Chief Superintendent Prisons Secretary directed all prison authorities to facilitate visits of Paralegals in all prisons in the country.Your setting up of community paralegals will go a long way in assisting the vulnerable groups of the society. Am a paralegal under Petauke district Land Alliance a new partner of Namati(Community Land Protection Program) . AJK

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Thanks for your response to @Elsie_Joseph, @AJK. It is exciting to hear your progress and achievements getting official access for community paralegals into prisons in Zambia - a very important intervention that will surely prove fruitful and useful.

Great to also see that you are working with Namati’s CLP Program. Will the paralegals working in prisons be the same as the ones working on community land protection or are they separate initiatives?

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thanks Andrew

Hi Elsie

I know the University of Canterbury in New Zealand was looking at starting a community legal centre type of organisation in Papua New Guinea. It might be worth getting in contact with them as they would be engaging in training paralegals etc. Cheers, Donna Evans. Also, the Women’s Legal Centre in South Africa has published an extensive paralegal manual (mainly in the area of working with Sex Workers) but it has many useful tips and forms etc. I believe it can be downloaded from the internet for free. Cheers, Donna Evans

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Thank you for your advice. Will be in touch,

EJay

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Thanks for the contribution, @donnaevans! Indeed, the Women’s Legal Centre in South Africa has published a wealth of paralegal manuals, including this Paralegal Manual by the WLC. If @Elsie_Joseph is interested in more resources by them, you can also search “Women’s Legal Centre” in our resource library. They are also here in our member directory.

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you have any contact there I can follow up with?

EJay

Hi Elsie

I’ve emailed asking a friend for names and email addresses. Once I’ve received a response, I’ll send them through to you.

Kind regards

Donna

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thanks Donna

EJay

The University of Durban in South Africa also has a manual on paralegal work - law clinics as well. I’ll try to find a copy on my laptop over the weekend and send that through. Might also have the WLC version as well - but that is more focussed on paralegals working with Sex Workers plus plenty of general material might still be useful.

CHeers

Donna

thanks alot

EJay

Hi Elsie

Attached are the two manuals, both created in South Africa.

I think there is also a community legal centre resource centre in Australia. You might be able to find it through internet search.

Dr Robin Palmer was one of the authors of the African Law Clinicians resource. He is now based at Canterbury University in New Zealand. He was doing some work in Papua New Guinea. You should be able to find his details on the University website.

Good luck!

Donna

THanks a billion Donna

EJay

Hi Elsie

Dr Robin Palmer responded this morning. Apparently he is also coming to South Africa later this month, not sure if you’re actually in Papua New Guinea yet or Zambia? Anyhow, feel free to contact him. He set up the Law Clinic at Durban Uni in South Africa, and has just set up the clinical program for Uni of Canterbury students, plus the work in Papua Guinea about establishing a community legal centre, plus produced resources etc.

Cheers and good luck!

Donna

Robin Palmer,

Professor, Director of Clinical Legal Studies, University of Canterbury

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