President Hage Geingob has encouraged local lawyers to participate in pro bono legal services in an effort to improve the accessibility of law and justice to vulnerable sections of society.
“Because of the unfortunate high level of poverty in our country, I encourage all legal practitioners to fully embrace the pro bono culture as a means of improving the accessibility of law and justice to vulnerable sections of our society,” the President said yesterday while officially opening the 2020 legal year at the Supreme Court premises.
The President noted, the Judiciary and members of the legal fraternity play an integral role as custodians of Namibia’s constitutional democracy.
He said, in this regard, government is reviewing enabling legislation where it is expected there will be an opportunity for constructive public dialogue intended on addressing increased imperatives for access to justice, enlargement of the pool of apprenticeship for candidate legal practitioners attending the Justice Training Centre as well as prohibitively high legal fees, among others.
“It is my hope that during this reform process, the use of the law and the constitution will emerge as transformative tools to re-engineer the direction of the legal profession, while providing scope for contributing to the tenets of social justice and national development,” Geingob said.
Another important consideration would be the introduction of a Small Claims Court, even if initially as a pilot and as part of the existing infrastructure.
“This type of court set-up is common in other jurisdictions and presents an ideal opportunity to improve access to justice.”
He proceeded, although it is not a panacea for all challenges facing the legal profession, it will significantly contribute towards enabling more citizens to access the courts.
The President reiterated his commitment to tackle the evil that is corruption, by demanding ethical management and administration of the State’s affairs by all functionaries.
He went on to say in this respect, government will continue reviewing laws and policies in order to close loopholes that make laws and systems susceptible to exploitation.
This is done, he said, with the understanding that robust processes, systems and transparent institutions act as the first line of defence against corruption and mismanagement, particularly of national resources.
He further called on the members of the Judiciary to return to their workstations to engage in much-needed introspection, in order to improve processes and systems in place to dispense meaningful justice in the country.
2020-02-13 07:21:27 | 5 days ago