Legal Assistance Centre-Namibia
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Overview
The Social Justice Project(SJP) of the Legal Assistance Centre is the main litigation vehicle of the organisation. Unlike the other units, which focus on specified human rights issues, Huricon is willing to engage in test case litigation in relation to any human rights issue or rights protected by the Namibian Constitution.

For example the right to dignity, privacy, personal liberty, equality and freedom from discrimination, fair trial, family, property, political activity, administrative justice, culture, education and fundamental freedoms.

It must be stressed that, in general, only test case litigation will be attended to since there is little public interest in taking matters to court which have already been ventilated and in which legal principles have already be established and are being followed.

Since Huricon has become merged with the AIDS law Unit we have decided to give it a new name – hence Social Justice Project.

Our mission being to make the law accessible to those with the least access thereto and to interpret human rights as including socio-economic rights. Once referred to as the HURICON department, the SJP’s vision continues to address violations of human rights protected under the Namibian Constitution focusing primarily on the violations of Social Justices such as the Right to access water and sanitation; healthcare; inclusive education for people with disabilities; children’s rights and the right to own property and other emerging issues as required from time to time.
Please take notice that HIV/AIDS Is not specifically been addressed in our vision but should not be deemed as not an area of concern.
HIV/AIDS have enjoyed substantial attention, however we also realised that it cuts across all the areas of concern and will therefore be dealt with accordingly.

After being evaluated as HURICON for the period 2014 – 2015 we have addressed certain areas of concern that will be targeted primarily without derogating from the emerging social justice issues of our country.
The areas targeted and our logical framework is set out hereunder. We are bound to include the framework of all the activities over a 3 year period, despite the fact that we have been advised that law reform, government involvement and calculation of the impact made to the community should be done over a 5 – 12 year period.
The evaluators report also gave recommendations on how we can improve our mandate and become more visible to both the public and the relevant stakeholders and we hope our attempt to improve such is visible in our logical framework hereunder.

Although our primary focus is litigious both test case and impact litigation we have taken responsibility for empowering the nation by educating, lobbying and advocating for socio-economic rights at grassroots levels from which we will derive the relevant cases to pursue in a competent court as well as at ministerial level.

In this we hope to assist in the alleviation of poverty in Namibia by empowering the people of their human rights as protected and guaranteed in a democratic society. No right exists isolated from the other the same way as no government exists without the people to govern.
The SJP’s overall objectives remain the same as that of HURICON: to contribute to and to promote a sustainable human rights based democracy founded on the rule of law: respecting human rights and freedoms.
We do this by the following guiding principles:
(1) defending and promoting human rights by way of public education, impact litigation that holds government liable for already existing laws; and test case litigation that defines and interprets socio-economic rights.
(2) defending and promoting human rights by way of legal research and advocacy;
And we do this so that
(a) we can build litigation capacity in particular in relation to socio-economic litigious activities, and (b) to allow law reform by defining and interpreting human rights so as to include socio-economic rights and in relation to international standards.

By doing this we believe we uphold a democracy based on human rights In addition to the principles above we have added the following strategies:

  • Awareness raising and lobbying of human rights;
  • Legal advice;
  • Legal research;
  • Advocacy;
  • Training and capacity building;
  • Networking and coordination

l

Human Rights in Namibia
According to a 2008 report by the international human rights watchdog, Amnesty Int'l, Namibia faces the following human rights issues:

· Caprivi Treason Trial
· Torture and Other
Ill-Treatment
· Violence Against
Girls & Women
· Freedom of Expression
Under Attack


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Contact Information
Corinna van Wyk
Project Lawyer
Legal Assistance Centre
4 Marien Ngouabi
(old Körner Street)
Windhoek, Namibia
tel: +264-61-223-356
fax: +264-61-234-953
email: Corinna

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