Black Sash Media Statements

Access To Justice Remains Inaccessible To Many South Africans, But Well Trained Paralegals Provide The Solution

Press Release
 
Thursday 04 October 2018
 
Access To Justice Remains Inaccessible To Many South Africans, But Well Trained Paralegals Provide The Solution
 
For most South African’s navigating the legal system is a daunting prospect but for marginalised communities, it is near impossible.  It is for this reason that well-trained paralegals working in Community Advice Offices’ is an essential service that contributes to making the legal system more accessible for those who need it most.
 
The 2018 Dullah Omar School for Paralegalism, is taking place 7-12 October in Johannesburg.  Hosted by the Centre for the Advancement of Community Advice Offices of South Africa (CAOSA), the Social Change Assistance Trust (SCAT) and the Black Sash.
 
The School is aimed at highlighting the importance of access to justice for people at a grassroots level.  The 2018 instalment of the Dullah Omar School is taking place at a critical time.  It’s a time when those in power are under increasing scrutiny, with South Africans’ demanding accountability from government officials.  It is also a moment when the country is preparing for its general elections in 2019.  Elections should reflect the will of the people, by responding to the aspirations of communities who continue to yearn for a better future.
 
The Dullah Omar School was established to provide a learning platform for community-based paralegals in order to cultivate amongst the younger generations the spirit for mobilising and developing community agency.  It is through learning, cultivating the principles of social justice, leadership ethics and the facilitation of skills necessary for mobilising and developing community agency, that access to justice may be realised.
 
Says CAOSA;  “Access to justice is a right enshrined in our constitution.  However for many accessing this right has been mere talk and nothing more. It is therefore important that we continue to fight for a vibrant paralegal sector and capacitated community advice offices.   To do this, there is a need for adequate and sustained funding, as well as organisational development and professional support.”
 
As the country gears up for the 2019 elections, it is important that communities are informed and empowered to choose accountable public servants. It is critical that our communities have the ability to organise themselves and defend South Africa’s constitutional democracy.
 
The 2018 Dullah Omar School aims to produce well trained and informed community paralegals and will entrust them with a clear mission; which is to be the voice of the voiceless, to be advocates for the marginalised, to educate and mobilise their communities, enabling them to challenge all forms of malpractices and misconduct, including misconduct of those who hold public office.
 
According to the Dullah Omar family: “The school remains a beacon of hope for communities in the midst of a dark and challenging period that South Africa is currently experiencing. The School serves to reinforce a value system that is based on selflessness, service and restoring dignity to the most marginalised communities”.
 
For more details about the School and the speaker line-up please see the attached brochure https://drive.google.com/file/d/1C-jMOah8Gg5mB1GVcwA2Bt-Sh6h3Bgsy/view?usp=sharing
 
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For media queries please contact Angie Richardson on 083 397 2512 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 
For more details about the 2018 Dullah Omar School please contact:

  • Boroto Ntakobajira on 081 013 6021 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  • Mandy Moussouris on 083 145 3085 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.