LHRC’s Legal Aid Clinic makes a list of 30 access to justice solutions in the world
April 29, 2019
The Hague, Netherlands
LHRC’s Legal Aid Clinic has been selected by the World Justice Project (WJP) among 30 projects that strive to accelerate access to justice in the world. Legal Aid Clinic entered into the WJP’s World Justice Challenge 2019, as one of the best solutions competing with more than 250 other access to justice initiatives from all over the world. LHRC and other 29 finalists have joined the World Justice Forum in The Hague, Netherlands to showcase their solutions in the event starting on April 29 to May 2, 2019.
More about Legal Aid Clinic
In Tanzania, Legal Aid Clinic strives to facilitate access to justice through the provision of free legal aid services to the underprivileged population; including but not limited to court representation, legal empowerment, strategic litigation, reconciliation, counselling and advocacy for reforms of laws and policies as well as the change of practices.
Statistically, the Legal Aid Clinic helps more than 15,000 Tanzanians annually to directly access legal redress. Indirectly, that is through media, word of mouth and Information, Education and Communication Materials, Legal Aid Clinic has empowered nearly a quarter of Tanzania’s population.
The initiative has also been making use of evidence gathered from clients to push for law reforms and enactment of new laws to protect and promote human rights as well as enhance access to justice in Tanzania. Laws enacted as a result of Legal Aid provision include The Legal Aid Act, 2017, Microfinance Act 2018, the Law of the Child 2009, the Village Land Act No 5 of 1999, Special Sexual Provision Act of 1998 just to mention a few. In all these, LHRC made use of cases reported at its Legal Aid clinic to champion advocacy for reform and enactment of the said laws.
Moreover, Legal Aid initiative has led to the improvement of the justice system in so many ways, LHRC in collaboration with other actors campaigned for the establishment of the Police Gender, Children and People with Disabilities Desk to help women, children and PWDs to easily access justice especially when they encounter gender-based violence. This is because most GBV cases reported at the Clinic were a result of police not paying attention to the sensitivity of GBV cases leading to most women and children being deprived of their rights. Through Police Gender desk now women, children and PWDs can easily access justice although still there is a lot to be done for improvement. Similarly, LHRC has been engaging the judiciary to share some of the challenges as presented by clients including expensive court fees, delay in receiving judgments and issues related to corruption by some of the judicial officers. Some of these challenges have been well addressed by the judiciary.
About the World Justice Challenge
The World Justice Challenge 2019: Access to Justice Solutions is a competition to identify, recognize, and promote good practices and successful solutions to improve access to justice.
According to the World Justice Project, more than 5 billion people have unmet justice needs globally. This justice gap includes people who cannot obtain justice for everyday problems and people who face systematic exclusion from the law. According to research conducted by the World Justice Project, more than 50% of people around the world have experienced a legal problem in the past two years alone, and justice systems are failing them.
Identifying and promoting good practices and successful solutions is essential to narrowing the justice gap.
Effective interventions have been developed and tested around the world. Compiling an accessible evidence base of high-quality, high-impact interventions will help accelerate the dissemination of good ideas and the uptake of promising approaches.