The LCF supports access to justice projects in Africa, particularly in East Africa, through it's CLEAR partnerships.
CLEAR: Christian Legal Education Aid & Research
Local lawyers manage access to justice projects and seek to represent vulnerable and marginalised communities, regardless of their background, or religious belief, by informing them of their basic legal rights and offering free advice and representation to those who have no means to pay for it.
CLEAR's vision is driven by a Christian conviction that justice should be freely available for all and as such we should help the poorest get justice, through:
Community legal education
Teaching people what you and I expect to be everyday rights, particularly in slum areas and in remote parts of Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda. These cover a wide range of legal issues including family, land and succession rights and are delivered in schools, through churches and to community leaders, often in partnership with local NGOs.
Access to justice through legal aid centres
Providing for those most vulnerable and least able to represent themselves, often on the fringes of society.
Mostly among those detained prior to trial, the workshops focus on bail conditions, rights to information about the case against them and how to self-represent themselves. For the most vulnerable, CLEAR advocates provide free legal representation. Even if someone is guilty of the crime they are accused of, they are still entitled to a fair hearing and for their case to be heard within a reasonable time period;
For those most at risk and in need, often those in prison, widowed or in cases of family breakdown. CLEAR advocates also challenge the Government to change unjust and outdated laws and those in authority who are seeking to influence decisions for their own ends.
Public interest litigation
Influencing policy development and raising test cases. Recent examples include taking the Government to Court to get them to give street children ID cards, and challenging the interpretation of robbery with violence (a death penalty offence in some countries).
How the LCF supports CLEAR
- By giving financial support to help our partners provide these services in their own countries. Delivery of each project must be owned and driven by local management, staff and volunteers, whilst being cost effective & subject to regular financial checks.
- By sharing best practice, and resources among partners to improve the service and encourage all those involved.
- By encouraging our partners through prayer and the sending of UK based legal volunteers on short term mission trips and as longer term interns.
Providing access to justice for all individuals helps enable local society's understanding of human rights and is aimed at the poorest and most vulnerable in society, often women and children.
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