LAC Assists People from All Walks of Life
The LAC’s main objective is to protect the human rights of all Namibians. It is the only organisation of its kind in Namibia. It has an office in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital. It is funded primarily by national and international donor organisations. Its work is supervised by the Legal Assistance Trust, whose trustees include legal practitioners, other professionals and community leaders.
It works in five broad areas:
- Information and Advice
- Education and Training
- Law Reform and Advocacy
The Legal Assistance Centre is a public interest law firm based in Windhoek.The LAC only takes on public interest cases. A public interest case is a legal case which will have a wider impact on the community than just assisting the individual concerned. Such a case may establish a new legal rule, which will change the law for the entire country or address a discriminatory policy or practice. Or it may attract attention to a problem that is affecting many people.
Examples of cases taken up by the Legal Assistance Centre include:
- The right of a school learner to return to school after her child was born
- The right of an accused in a complicated criminal trial to obtain legal aid
- The right of a widow to keep the land she lived on during her marriage after the death of her husband
- The right of a HIV-positive person not to be dismissed from employment based on their HIV status
Even if we cannot help you with your case, we may be able to give you information on your rights and on steps you can take to help yourself.
Legal Information and Advice
We provide legal information and advice on human rights in the following areas:
- HIV/AIDS – including advice on what to do if you are discriminated against, information on workplace policies, access to treatment for HIV.
- Gender Equality – including information on rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment in the workplace, inheritance, marriage, divorce and maintenance.
- Human Rights and the Constitution – such as the right to basic education, the right to health, citizenship, immigration issues and the right not to be tortured or ill-treated.
- Land, Environment and Development – including inheritance, conservancies, illegal fencing, environmental issues, and issues affecting especially disadvantaged groups such as the Himba and the San.
If you want to speak to a paralegal about a legal issue you are concerned about, phone us at +264-61-22-3356 or come to the office at 4 Marien Ngouabi, Windhoek. The office is open for basic advice from Monday to Friday, 08h00-11h30, and 14h00-16h00 (on Fridays the office closes at 15h00).
Education and Training
We also run training workshops for communities and service providers (such as legal officials, traditional leaders, school principals, police and social workers) on:
- Gender – friendly laws including rape and domestic violence
- Communal Land Reform Act and conservancy-related legislation
- HIV/AIDS and rights
- Basic human rights training
The LAC also carries out research, particularly on the need for new laws and the implementation of existing laws. Some recent research reports which are available are:
- Namibian Law on LGBT issues
- Scraping the Pot: San in Namibia
- Access to Justice series
Law Reform and Advocacy
We advocate for law reform based on our research. Examples of laws which the LAC
contributed to and advocated for are:
- Combating of Rape Act
- Combating of Domestic Violence Act
- Maintenance Act
- Non discrimination on the basis of HIV in the Labour Act
- Child Care and Protection Act
Free of Charge
All our services are free of charge.
Donations are very welcome.