Timap Launches Paralegal Manual
Timap for Justice an organization agitating for legal issues facing the poor, on Thursday September 6th, officially launched the paralegal manual, at the office headquarter of OSIWA, Murray Town Road, Freetown.
The ceremony witnessed host of dignitaries’ across various support base organization partnering the fight for justice for the less privileged. Chairman of the occasion, Programme Director of Timap Sierra Leone, Sonkita Conteh admonished the gathering that the agenda behind the launching of this important document is centered on the spirit of providing justice fairly and freely for the poor.
He noted that it is a grass-root base justice project, citing the project mirrors to provide clues on the legality of the two disciplines of law in the country, which is the formal and customary law. He explained furthered that this document will catalogue as a reference material to guide paralegals and the justice system especially on the areas of sensitive issues, noting it to be a practitioners guide to provide basic justice service in the country.
Talking on the issue of the challenges which warranted the heralding of this document, Director of Timap and co-founder of the organization, Simeone Koroma shed light on the genesis of the birth of the organization Timap. He stated that Timap was established in 2003, after the reality of the post war challenges facing the country especially the poor Sierra Leonean were getting unbearable. He cited that the struggles of injustice faced by the ordinary man gave birth to a coalition army of 40 civil society organizations to form Timap.
He went on to say the result of this action established and Open Society Initiatives at 31 Chiefdom in the country, explaining that the organization draws it’s inspirations from apartheid South Africa, where the issue of subjugation and injustice to the ordinary black man was the predominant order of the day.
The Director noted that the manual argues on two platforms, called a dualist approach, in which the frontline issue is to target the community based paralegal rather than lawyers, citing that they are also focusing on community dialoguing in solving the problem. He furthered that since 2009 his organization have been working with Government and other financial support base groups such as GIZ.
In his explanation the Director revealed that Timap is currently operating with 19 paralegals in the various 31 Chiefdoms in the country.
Lending his voice to the issue was co-founder Vivek Maru, who said that the fundamental goal of the organization is to put an end to the common phraseology in Krio ‘nar for bear’, to the counter phrase of ‘bear no more’, citing the document to be a structural guide-plan for paralegals as to carry out issue of their victims.
The official launching of the manual was done by Human Rights Commissioner, Mrs. Jamesina King, who stressed the importance of the document for having capturing salient issues that are catalogued as the problems affecting the ordinary man who cannot afford to match the aristocrat in seeking the service of a legal practitioner.
Other representatives from organizations such as OSIWA, Joe Pemmagbi, UNICEF Eri Suzuki, and Tillmann Schneider of GIZ commended Timap and their partner organization Namati for having achieved this developmental milestone in the fight of being the mouthpiece of the poor people.
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