By sylviahammond, 23 August, 2011

South Africans have been urged to take advantage of free legal assistance being offered at the country’s courts and Legal Aid Centres during this week.


These services are being made available to the public as part of the Department of Justice’s Access to Justice Week programme.


The aim of the programme, which is run in partnership with the South African Women Lawyers’ Association, is to provide a platform for women in the legal profession to give back to the community and to deepen the public’s understanding of the justice system by providing free legal advice to communities, the department said.


The programme targets disadvantaged communities and other vulnerable groups.


“The free legal assistance will be provided at all the courts and Legal Aid Centres. Experts will educate the public on various legal issues including drafting of wills, maintenance applications, reporting domestic violence, divorce, foster parenting and guardianship, and customary marriages,” the department said.


With the programme taking place during Women’s Month, women in the legal profession will also encourage communities and young girls to effectively use available resources, policies and legislation to exercise their rights.


“The department and its stakeholders are confident that this year’s access to justice week will continue to mitigate the violent circumstances that have direct impact on women and children and effectively contribute towards the restoration of their dignity and improved quality of life,” it added.


More information on the services being offered can be obtained from magistrate’s courts across the country. - BuaNews



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