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STAKEHOLDERS PUSH FOR PARALEGAL REPRESENTATION IN LOWER COURTS
By Vyalema Kaluluma Phiri
Different stakeholders continue to push for paralegal representation in lower courts.
Latest to add their voices on the matter are Northern Region based Civil Society Organizations who feel the decision once implemented can improve access to justice.
A representative of the CSOs, Moses Mkandawire of the Church and Society Program of CCAP Synod of Livingstonia, argues that most Malawians are poor and cannot afford a lawyer.
Mkandawire made the remarks on Thursday in Mzuzu City during a public hearing on access to justice by vulnerable people.
He then appealed to Members of Parliament through Legal Affairs Committee to move with speed and amend Section 12 of the Legal Aid Bureau to improve access to justice in Malawi.
In his remarks, Parliamentary Committee Legal Affairs Chairperson, Peter Dimba said, "The committee is impressed with positive feedback the public has given."
Dimba disclosed that the committee will soon meet both the Attorney General and Solicitor General among other stakeholders in Lilongwe before the matter is tabled in Parliament
Meanwhile, Legal Aid Bureau Director Masauko Chamkakala says Malawi has 500 qualified lawyers, and a backlog of cases close to 24,000 that requires legal representation from Legal Aid Bureau which is also incapacitated in human capital as it has 35 paralegals and 25 lawyers.