SYNOPSIS OF EU ACCESS TO JUSTICE AND LEGAL EDUCATION PROJECT

ON 14 January 2015 a meeting of stakeholders was held at the Ocean Bay Hotel on the “Access to Justice and Legal Education Project” which is funded by the EU, consequent to an agreement between the Gambia Government and the EU signed in February 2012.

Below is the statement of the EU Chargee d’Affaires of the EU, which was presented by the Project Manager Josselin Amalfi. The statement is a synopsis of the project.

Speaking points – Kick off meeting

– The project “Access to Justice and Legal Education” is a component of the EU funded Governance Programme in The Gambia.

– A total budget of 10M EUR is available for the implementation of the Governance Programme in The Gambia, equivalent to 550M GMD.

– The project “Access to Justice and Legal Education” is funded by the European Union to the tune of 2,7M EUR, equivalent to 150M GMD.

– The overall objective of this project is to contribute to better democratic and economic governance through improving access to justice and legal education.

– The specific objectives are to (i) improve access to legal services & remedial justice, especially for vulnerable groups, (ii) improve legal education, training and research skills, and (iii) improve information and management of cases.

– The approach of the project consists of improving Access to justice, knowledge of rights (through awareness raising campaigns), and improving customary justice/mediation, and cadi.

– The project will have a national scope and will identify in its inception phase and first year of implementation the pilot district/ regions where its activities will be executed, in addition to the Greater Banjul Area.

– This project will have a direct impact on gender, human rights and good governance in The Gambia.

– Gender equality, and especially issues relating to women, will be dealt with through ensuring that justice matters particularly relevant for them (e.g. family, inheritance) are addressed by project activities, and also with the development of activities specifically targeting the access of women to justice.

The major stakeholders are: (i) the Ministry of Justice; (ii) the Judiciary; (iii) the Ministry of Local Government and Land; (iv) the Ministry of Interior; (iii) the Gambian Bar Association; (iv) the National Agency for Legal Aid; (v) the University of The Gambia/Law Faculty; and (vi) Human Rights NGOs/CBOs.

– A service contract has been signed with the company Eurecna S.p.A to provide technical and advisory services and ensure the effective and timely implementation of the project.

– The Technical Assistance Team of experts will be composed of the following principal (or key) experts:  (i) a Team Leader, (ii) a Civic Rights education expert, (iii) and expert in Modern Law (or common law), and (iv) a Customary Law expert.

– In addition short term expertise will be mobilized in several fields, including Communication and Procurement for project activities.

– Today’s kick off meeting gathers all major stakeholders; most stakeholders have been associated to the project preparation, and some already met with the Team Leader of the Technical Assistance Team, Mr. Shelley Liberto.

– The purpose of today’s meeting is to (i) introduce all stakeholders, (ii) present the project activities and expected results, (iii) go through the Terms of reference of the Technical Assistance Team, (iv) discuss expectations & requests for clarification, and (v) build up synergies & networking for project implementation.

– Given the large participation of all stakeholders to this meeting today, I am very confident that this project will be extremely successful, and I wish you all a very fruitful kick-off session.