Thirty-five students from the University of The Gambia Law Faculty recently concluded a four-day intensive paralegal training at NaNA Conference hall.
The training, which kick-started on Tuesday, was organised by National Agency for Legal Aid (NALA) in collaboration with the West African Law Institute, funded by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In his official opening statement, the executive director of NALA, Sanna Dahaba, said access to justice being a fundamental right on its own and one without which other rights such as the right to a fair trial cannot be realized, is at the epitome of human rights. …
According to him, NALA has been engaged in the provision of legal advice and representation to poor persons in The Gambia since its inception.
However, he said challenges to provision of Legal Aid by NALA and other service providers are compounded by limited financial and human resources constraints thus making the services accessible to only a negligible number of deserving persons.
He said the establishment of a Paralegal Scheme in collaboration with Law Faculty of the University of The Gambia and FLAG, therefore, would go a long way towards bridging the human resources gap in the successful delivery of legal aid services countrywide.
They will operate from all legal aid centres across the country thereby ensuring accessibility to justices at even the primary stages of the justice system to the society as a whole. (Emphasis added.)
And that after all really is the point.