Adam Stapleton

The promise of legal aid is an empty one for most people in Africa, thanks to a shortage of lawyers, many of whom are located in capital cities rather than in rural areas. But a new approach that uses paralegals to provide frontline services could make legal aid a real option for people across the continent, writes Adam Stapleton, with plans underway for the establishment of ‘an international alliance of organisations to promote primary justice services to the poor.’

“There is an inseparable link between the protection of individual and collective human rights and democracy. The field of battle in which democracy and human rights are tested is the administration of criminal justice, which encompasses all processes and practices by which a state affects, curtails, or removes basic rights.” - Cherif Bassiouni

The focus of donor agencies or development partners today is on the Millenium Development Goals – goals which make no mention of the more