Legal Assistance Centre

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Social Justice Project - SJP

Activities are mainly centered around litigation, the rationale being that once the current litigation files are at a manageable level, the way in which SJP “does business” will be restructured to obtain maximum impact from limited resources.

The funding situation in SJP remains dire with a small donation being received from Namibia Breweries for a research paper and the International Commission of Jurists still funding a few cases. Obviously, the personnel situation in Huricon (or lack thereof) is not conducive to regular consultancy work in an attempt to bridge the funding gap, neither is the opportunity there to spend large amounts of time sourcing funding due to the time-limits involved in litigious work which must be respected.

SJP assisted with screening new clients and giving advice and referrals when appropriate. Clients are screened personally and by telephone.

In addition, queries by mail are received on a daily basis and are almost exclusively dealt with by the Huricon co-ordinator. This service is a small attempt to provide some free advice to indigent clients and at least steer them in the right direction even if the matter does not fall within the Legal Assistance Centre’s mandate or cannot be taken on due to lack of funding. The situation is far from ideal, however, since in many cases the clients can arguably not take their issues further without some form of assistance.

The co-ordinator is the trustee of the Hoofbeats Trust, Archillen Gawanab Trust and Maria Geelbooi Trust. These trusts are for the benefit of previously disadvantaged children and it is hoped that the resources will assist these children to prepare themselves adequately before entering the job market. During 2006 the trusts were administered according to the needs of the children and the various requirements in terms of inland revenue and the Master of the High Court were addressed.

The co-ordinator resigned as the Secretary to the Professional Arbitration and Mediation Association of Namibia (PAMAN) due to increased responsibilities at the Legal Assistance Centre, but remains a member of the Executive Committee. One of the objectives of PAMAN is to promote socio-economic development in Namibia.


On 1 December, the Legal Assistance Centre (LAC) and Sister Namibia participated in the 16 Days of Activism by organizing a training on Gender Based Violence for women and girls in Osire Refugee Settlement (Namibia).
During the event, the LAC hosted a session on women’s rights and Namibian legislation concerning rape and domestic violence.
In the spirit of the theme of this year’s 16 Days of Activism, #Hearmetoo, participants shared their questions and experiences around the issue of GBV within Osire.
Sister Namibia organized a self-defence class for girls, after which the participants created a banner to display Osire’s participation in the 16 Day-campaign.

In January 2006, both the co-ordinator and senior legal practitioner attended the strategic planning workshop facilitated by a member of the Gender, Research & Advocacy Project. The workshop was found to be extremely helpful.

Two articles were published in the Namibian newspaper early in 2006, one relating to the rights of foreigners married to Namibian citizens and another discussing the prohibition of corporal punishment in schools. Both articles elicited some interest with queries still being fielded regarding citizenship rights some 12 months later. The article on corporal punishment alerted parents to the rights of their children and resulted in a further two clients being assisted in this regard. A number of letters were also written to the press following this article and calling for the re-instatement of corporal punishment which indicates that the Namibian public is still in need of human rights sensitization.