3 April, 2018

Chowki Legal Aid Committee Chairmen Trained on Office Manage-ment

Last Updated: 3 April 2018

 

On February 3, 2018, USAID’s Justice for All Program (JFA), the National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO), and the Ministry of Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs (MOLJPA) organized the first ever orientation workshop on Legal Aid Office Management for Chowki Legal Aid Committee (LAC) Chairmen in Dhaka. Thirty-one judges from Bangladesh’s remote Chowki Courts, two MOLJPA representatives, the District Legal Aid Officer of Rajshahi District, and six officials from NLASO participated in the workshop.

 

The workshop WAS designed for Chowki LAC Chairmen to provide them practical knowledge on government legal aid services at the remote Chowki courts level, and train them on on forms and registers, proper financial management of the Chowki legal aid office, and compliance with government financial rules and policies.

 

Chowki LAC Chairmen were divided into five groups to brainstorm and identify existing challenges, needs, and opportunities. They also worked on defining coordination strategies with NLASO, other LACs, and NGOs. Each group presented their findings and pointed out possible strategies to maximize strengths and address weaknesses. The strategies included increased budgetary allocation, office set up, and linkages with local NGOs for legal aid awareness.

 

Mr. Nuray Alam Bhuiyan, one of the participants and chairman of Satkania Chowki LAC noted that, “This workshop helped us to learn the practical aspects of Chowki legal aid office management as well as awareness strategies at the grassroots level. We will be able to follow the best practices set by Chowki LACs in JFA pilot districts in our Chowki Courts area.”

 

JFA provides technical assistance to strengthen the delivery of legal aid services at the local level in 15 pilot districts under its Objective 1: Strengthen Legal Aid Service Delivery. Assistance is designed to ensure efficient management of the legal aid office and caseload; enhance the quality and responsiveness of service delivery by the legal aid office and panel lawyers; activate local-level committees for referral and awareness at the grassroots level; and conduct public outreach and information campaigns on the availability of legal aid services.