“There is space for all in a struggle for a better world”

The quote is from “A renowned law academic, Prof Chris Maina Peter,” in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, on Thursday shortly after “he received this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award, the highest honour offered by the Tanganyika Law Society (TLS) to a member who has shown outstanding dedication in promoting the rule of law and improving access to justice” according to a report in The Citizen. Here’s more of the report:

“It is gratifying to note that TLS is coordinating civil societies in urging the government to introduce paralegals in legal aid after realisation that there is no competition between advocates and paralegals.

There is space for all in a struggle for a better world and ensuring that there is a timely justice for all,“ said Prof Maina. He urged TLS to continue promoting the system and take it to new heights so as to make the lawyer’s body “a site of justice where the poor and marginalised members of our society run to for refuge in search for justice.“

The issue of paralegals first emerged in Tanzania in 1983s at a TLS meeting when a paper arguing for the introduction of a new cadre of law assistance which in other countrie was referred to as “barefoot lawyers.“

The idea received stiff resistance and has since then been neglected by authorities as an alternative in promoting timely justice.

However, the promotion of paralegals has gained unprecedented support by TLS which has in recent year undertaken to coordinate civil societies in urging the government to introduce the system.

As stated previously, the paralegal concept means something different in many countries than it does here. However, one constant factor in the conception is the thought that paralegals can help improve access to justice. One can only hope there will be greater recognition of this role everywhere, including the United States.

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