The Center for Human Rights (CHR) ,Addis Ababa University College of Law and Governance, conducted half day induction program for selected paralegals to engage in provision of free legal service in its Addis Ababa Project Office on July 6, 2018.
Tamru Kedir, legal advisor of the project, on his opening speech welcomed the participants and said that the program is an introductory session. He also added that the induction program was prepared with aim of introducing paralegals with the working environment, their colleagues, their roles and principles and procedures they have to abide by during free legal service.
Kuribachew Hailu, Training and Support Coordination officer of the project, pointed out the five main principles, provision of legal service without pay, confidentiality, impartiality, independent and empowering which paralegals have to abide by.
She briefly discussed these principles by focusing on their application while service provision. According to her, “Taking these principles into considerations while offering free legal services is of paramount importance.
Yitaktu Tibebu, Sub-project Manager of Community Based Human rights promotion protection, briefly introduced the paralegals with the main stages of interview. She also underlined “The paralegal service is very sensitive because we serve vulnerable clients. So in order to offer the services effectively, the paralegals should be very skillful in handling interviews. These help them to identify the major issues of the clients and easily lever the cases.”
Mahider Geleta, Addis Ababa Area Manager briefly highlighted the importance of case records and familiarized the paralegals with CHR’s case recording form.
“While interviewing and handling of client issues, case recording using scientific procedures is compulsory and helps the paralegals to easily trace and link the issues. It is also used as a communication bridge between the paralegals, area manager and their clients”, Mahider Geleta, Addis Ababa Area Manager, added.
The major issues covered during induction program are principles advise giving, interview skills and case recordings
The Center opened its Addis Ababa Area Office around Arat Killo to provide legal services to the project’s target groups and others dwelling in the city that cannot afford to pay for the legal services. The project was launched on June 1, 2018 so as to support the university’s efforts of teaching, research and community engagement in Human Rights.