Free Legal Service
Ambo University, Free Legal Services Directorate is one of the academic units organized under the Office of Vice President for Research and Community Services. It renders free legal Services via different Centers. The latter is renouned in diverse community engagements since 2011. It renders free legal services to vulnerable groups of the community like: women, children, persons with disabilities (PWD), minors, workers, elderly people, prisoners, job less people, students, and HIV/AIDS infected and victims. Currently the directorate has 5 free legal service located in different places namely: Main Office at the Gate of Main Campus; in the compound of Ambo Woreda Court; in the vicity of West Shoa High Court; Toke Kutaye Woreda Court; and West Shoa Prison Administration. The directorate also planned to launch additional new free legal services centers at Dandi and Ejere Woreda Courts in the near future.
The community engagements the directorate usually in charge are categorized into three. The first one is intervention mechanism via training, legal and human rights awarness creation which focus on human rights promotion. The second one is more of protection through free legal services that covers legal advice; referral system to the pertinent organ of the government; preparation of statement of claim, statemnent of defense, memorandum of appeal, cassation applications, court and administrative petitions; court representation; and Alternative Disbute Resolutions System (ADR). The third one remains research activities on the cases frequently appear to the center that enables the university to influence the government policy, legal, and institutional frameworks. The research out puts done so far on domestic violence against women and women’s property claims under tradional justice systems have already been published in the renouned human rights journal of Addis Ababa University, under the auspices of Center for Human Rights. One mega research project on divorce liberalization is in pipe line being undertaken under the auspices of Ambo University.
Not only through the center permanently established that the university tends to reach the vulnerable groups, but also it has outreach system the mechanism with which the center reaches the remote community. These include: Bako Tibe Woreda Court both at Bako and Tibe Towns; Elu Gelan Woreda Court; Cheliya Woreda Court; Liban Jawi Woreda Court; Dire Enchini Woreda Court; Jibat Woreda Court; Dandi Woreda Court; Ejersa Lafo Woreda Court; Chobi Woreda Court; Finfine Oromiya Supreme Court; and Federal Supreme Court via court representation. The Center managed to penetrate in such a manner that the volunteer law instructors; student paralegals (selected and trained from 4th and 5th years law regular students); and Community Human Rights Promoters trained so far under the auspices of Addis Abeba University, Center for Human Rights kept awarining on legal and human rights for the people awaiting free legal and court services on usual bases.
Hence, these innovative activities are meant to assist the justice system in the thematic area of the university as well as an ample opportunity to create national think tanks in the promotion, protection, and support the government for the fulfillments of human rights.
Visionary and Missionary Statements of the Directorate
2.1. Visionary Statements
The Free Legal Services Directorate envisioned seeing a society that values the universal principles of human rights, deep rooted determination and strong commitment towards the protection, advocacy and promotion of human rights of vulnerable groups of the society in general and economically underprivileged community in particular.
2.2. Missionary Statements
The Directorate’s mission is to carry out legal professional services and social responsibility by contributing constructive and influential roles in the promotion, advocacy and protection of human rights of vulnerable groups of the society that the international community and democratic society are celebrating these days.
Responsible Staff: Berhanu Mosisa Wakjira
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