NEWS


Probono 83 – Sustainable Forest Management & Responsible Logging
Members of a community forest have the legal responsibility to manage and utilize natural resources sustainably and for the benefit of the community. But persistent illegal harvesting of timber undermines sustainable management, causing resource shortages and serious community conflicts. Read more

Advocacy skills for all

The recent “skills transfer sessions” that the LAC Trustees requested to present to LAC staff are shared here publicly. Initially we arranged to make the sessions more broadly available to Namibian NGOs only, but the success thereof prompted us to share it widely.

Showcasing our materials

The LAC was represented at the CIVILSOCIETY EXHIBITION AND NETWORKING EVENT held at the Gateway Conference Centre on 19 and 20 October.

And (to the right) explaining our databases Online with a PowerPoint presentation to download or to view here.

LAC attends NACSO week

As a member of the Namibian Association of CBRNM Support Organization (NACSO), LEAD attended the NACSO WEEK at the beginning of October 2022. The focus of the strategy meeting was on feedback by and to the members, establishing a training institution and the launch of the strategic plan for 2023-2026.
Read more here.

Probono 80 – Expungement of Criminal Records
When applying for a job or a visa to work or study abroad, a person may have to submit a Certificate of Conduct (also known as a police clearance certificate) to show that they have no criminal history. This certificate is issued by the Namibian Police after checking the individual’s criminal record, using fingerprints as a means of identification. It will disclose any past criminal convictions contained in records going back to shortly before the date of independence.

Probono 81 – Universal Basic Income Grant – Social Justice for all
A life of dignity is the cornerstone of our Constitutional democracy. All Namibians strive to live such a life, but many are unable to do so because of poverty and inequality. Poverty in turn leads to crime, gender-based violence and suicide – all of which have ripple effects throughout society.

Probono 82 – Are compulsory Pro Bono requirements for lawyers constitutional?
The Minister of Justice recently announced that the Ministry is considering amendments to the Legal Practitioners Act that would require legal practitioners (attorneys and advocates) to provide a minimum of 120 hours of pro bono (free) work each year for clients with limited means.

Positive teamwork in 2022
The SJP team met with the UNCHR delegation to discuss their ongoing collaboration in terms of which the LAC assists with legal advice and assistance to refugees and asylum seekers in Osire Refugee Settlement.

17 August 2022 – New Board Member
The Board of Trustees of the Legal Assistance Centre welcomes Ms Gladice Pickering as a new trustee from the 1st of July 2022.
Ms Pickering comes with a wealth of experience which the Board believes will add great value to its guidance of the activities of the Legal Assistance Centre.
Welcome Gladice! We are pleased to have you on board!
For more information on the board.

The Legal Assistance Centre regrettably advises the public that it can no longer accept new instructions at this point in time.
We are solely donor-funded and can only operate as per resources available.
We do still offer our screening service (sms – 0816000098, email or  in person) and we invite you to make use of same.  These services may respond to simple queries or may refer you to a relevant stakeholder who may be able to assist.

We remain committed to advancing human rights in Namibia.

PRESS STATEMENT

As a member of the Action Coalition, the Legal Assistance Centre wishes to acknowledge the statement published on 16 May 2022. The excessive use of force in police action can never be condoned in a democratic society. The Legal Assistance Centre records its concern with the actions of the Namibian Police when responding to the protests in Chinatown on the 13th of May 2022…more

26 April 2022 –  The Ombudsman paid a courtesy call on the LAC

The Director of the Legal Assistance Centre, Toni Hancox, welcomed the new Ombudsman, Basilius Dyakugha, at the LAC offices.
“We congratulate the Ombudsman and look forward to collaborating with his office to ensure that all efforts are done to secure access to human rights in our country.
We wish you all the best in this role.  We know that you are up to the challenge!”

20 April 2022 – Presentation on Land Ownership by Foreigners
The LAC’s Uaraera Tjaveondja from the LEAD department gave a presentation to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Natural Resources and Land.  The LAC was invited to respond to a petition submitted by the Affirmative Repositioning (AR) on 18 March 2019 calling for the regulation of land ownership by foreigners.

The LAC holds the opinion, that the proposed Regulation of Land Ownership by Foreign Nationals Bill canvasses prohibitions, restrictions and limitations on foreign ownership and utilization of commercial, urban, agricultural and communal land.
It is clear that the Bill is born from the well documented national crisis of landlessness and homelessness which needs to be urgently addressed.
However in so doing, one must safeguard against creating laws which duplicate existing laws and raise more questions than answers.
In a nutshell, the proposed Bill is a welcome addition to the discourse on accessing land rights, but needs significant refinement and re-consideration before it can be turned into law.

Here is our full presentation and here the live event.

Bwabwata National Park – The Khwe must be heard
The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs (PSCCLA) will undertake a fact-finding visit to Bwabwata National Park in Kavango East from 14 to 16 March 2022. This is in response to a petition submitted by the Mbukushu Traditional Authority during October last year. Among other things, the petition seeks the setting aside of the Bwabwata area as a National Park so as to primarily uplift restrictions on land use and cattle farming. Read more…

Web version12 November 2021 – Launch of two new publications

  1. Combating Corruption in Namibia’s Legal Profession
    As part of a campaign to encourage the public to report and combat corruption wherever they encounter it, the Legal Assistance Centre has produced a pamphlet on misconduct by members of the legal profession, to inform the public about what to expect from a legal practitioner and how to make a complaint to the Law Society of Namibia in cases of misconduct. The goal is to provide a model for encouraging accountability. We hope to inspire similar initiatives in other sectors. Print version
  2. Learn about the law: Statute summaries
    We also have started a project to provide short and simple summaries of some key statutes that affect many members of the public, organised by theme. Each summary discusses the main topics covered by the statute, along with some background information and commentary. The idea is to highlight the points that seem to be of most interest to the public. The first batch of summaries was launched today, and we hope to gradually add summaries of additional statutes in future years.

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