Rule of Law and access to justice is a critical precondition for any peaceful and civilized society. One of the way forward for Pakistan to catch up with the developed countries is to ensure the Rule of Law. Access to justice is a lengthy process and often a costly one for the poor people. This is further complicated by the lack of education generally and lack of awareness on legal frameworks, rights and responsibilities among the citizens in remote areas.
To overcome this FRD entered an agreement with UNDP Rule of law component on 10th February 2016 for supporting the vulnerable population in 24 Union councils of district Kohat through supporting the access to justice. The program is implemented through the modalities of legal help desk in the district bar council and legal aid clinics in the community.
The legal help desk placed in district courts of Kohat is a full time desk, which receives the vulnerable people in courts, listen to their problems, provide legal advice and where necessary, refers the case to legal help committee who provides a pro bono lawyer.
The legal aid clinics is based on the concept of taking the legal experts to villages and remote areas and providing the communities an opportunity to understand their right ad obligations under the existing legal mechanisms. These clinics also provides an opportunity to the vulnerable population to get free legal advice on various of their issues.
The Project also include identification of measures to increase the number of women law practitioners, and in this regard, it is planned that short career counselling sessions will be arranged with the girl students of class 9th, 10th, 11th and 12 in district Kohat.
Other activities included in the program are motivating the girls students to study law and adopt practice of law as a profession to increase the access of women to formal justice mechanism. The next phase of the project will start in February 2017, where the outreach will be increased to additional Union councils of the district.