Uganda's JLOS Holds Workshop To Validate the National Legal Aid Policy

This is a cross posting from the DevLawGeek blog maintained by San:

I have just returned from Uganda where we work in partnership with JLOS, (Justice Law and Order Sector),  an umbrella organization of key government/quasi-government stakeholders in Uganda, for the coordination of access to and administration of justice, simply because these are areas of overlapping jurisdiction between so many actors. For practical (and maybe political?) purposes, it also acts as the channel for much international funding for Access To Justice and Democracy/Governance projects. It comprises of among others, the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs (MOJCA), Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA); The Judiciary; Uganda Police Force (UPF), and the Uganda Law Society. 

Uganda, like Rwanda, has been developing a policy document for legal aid, and we had the benefit of attending the stakholders' meeting and reviewing a draft of the document. One issue that we face in many countries, and in Africa in particular, is that legal aid is traditionally seen as free, and in fact, this has been encased in this document. So when we try to introduce an innovative fee-for-service model in legal service delivery for the poor (much like microfinance that charges fees and interests), we run into multiple issues on branding (are we a law firm?), 

Event: ABA presents Exploring Trends in Promoting the Rule of Law

The American Bar Association (ABA) is presenting a workshop on "Exploring Trends in Promoting the Rule of Law".
March 28, 2012, 12:30–7:00 p.m.
Venue Georgetown University Hotel and Conference Center
3800 Reservoir Road, NW, Washington, D.C.
Register online 

What is most interesting to us is that Technology and Access to Justice is one of the topics of discussion, which is the niche that BarefootLawyers fell into some years ago by accident, and it is so nice to know that the field is expanding and being promoted by the usual suspects such as the ABA. Their topic description:
Technology and Access to Justice
Technology holds significant potential for increasing access to justice. This panel will share examples of the ways in which technology has already contributed in this area, and, if better utilized, how technology can produce further gains. Does the democracy and governance community have realistic expectations about the potential of technology to increase access to justice and, more generally, to propel justice sector reform?

ABA ROLI to present the Access to Justice Assessment Tool

Please click here to RSVP.

Event Details: March 21, 2012. 10am-2pm
Location: American Society of International Law, at Tillar House
2223 Massachusetts Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20008

The Access to Justice Assessment Tool is one in a series of assessment tools developed by experts in technical legal assistance and law reform at the ABA Rule of Law Initiative (ABA ROLI). The Tool is a research methodology for assessing the extent to which communities and individuals are able to use justice institutions to solve common justice problems.  It has enabled civil society organizations in countries around the world to conduct professional-quality research on access to justice and to design effective reforms and programming to address access to justice challenges in their communities. Using the Access to Justice Assessment Tool, ABA ROLI’s civil society partners have made important discoveries and generated knowledge with the potential to improve access to justice for the poor and the marginalized.

Namati inviting South Asian participants to M&E Workshop

South Asia Practitioners Fair: Monitoring and Evaluation
19th – 20th April 2012, Dhaka, Bangladesh
Namati is teaming up with BRAC, Multiple Action Rights Group (MARG), and Open Society Justice Initiative to offer NGO leaders and senior program managers an opportunity to explore their own monitoring and evaluation plans with some of the world’s leading experts in measuring the impact of legal empowerment.
You’ll have the chance to hear about the latest methodologies used in the field, and have one-on-one detailed advice from experts on the most suitable approach for your own needs, as well as input in planning your own research. By the end of the workshop, you will come away with concrete plans for understanding and documenting the impact of your work.