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HREA prepares guide on paralegal programming

Cambridge, 15 October 2006 -- HREA is working closely with directors of paralegal programmes in five countries in developing a manual on how to initiate community-based paralegal programmes. In the community-based paralegal approach, paralegals address problems as generalists, offering a range of skills that can be applied to a situation. Sometimes the solution may be a formal legal one. Other times, the paralegal may offer administrative assistance to promote access to social services, or become involved in mediation or negotiation. "Paralegal programmes like these can offer empowering and effective solutions to community problems that promote access to justice", said HREA's director, Felisa Tibbitts.

Paralegals working in countries like Cambodia, Hungary, Sierra Leone and South Africa address a range of problems with individual clients and communities. The manual that HREA is developing addresses the basic steps in initiating and maintaining a programme, including: environmental assessment; programme planning; materials development and training; supporting and monitoring field offices; and evolving the programme.

HREA's work on the manual is supported by the Open Society Justice Initiative. The manual is scheduled for publication in spring 2007.




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