In an exclusive with The Standard Wednesday, Thomas Fuad Touray said his institution’s immediate plan is to sensitise the local community on access to justice and legal aid in The Gambia and to collaborate with and support existing legal aid Institutions in West African states.
He explained: “Over the past year in which Waila has been in existence, it has organised sensitisation workshops on the Legal framework on the right to access to justice and Legal Aid. It has published an information note for the general public on its activities in the print media and preparing to launch its public education programmes on radio and television as well as working towards establishing its regional offices to increase its coverage and availability of its services.
“We offer legal representation in court and offer legal assistance for individuals so that they can present themselves in court. We are providing other forms of legal assistance for individuals, including for example drafting wills and contracts, writing letters to officials, employers, landlords and other contract partners, filing applications (for example in relation to land registration) and accompanying individuals to private or public bodies in making legal claims. My institution facilitates negotiations; provide mediation between disputing parties and supporting clients in connection with ADR mechanisms, give legal advice on issues of a general nature, conduct advocacy work and campaigning etc,” he disclosed.
Despite the much needed and generous services to the people, founder Fuad said his institution is challenged with financial difficulties.
The West African Institute for Legal Aid (Waila) was established by a group of law graduates from the Faculty of Law, University of The Gambia in January, 2014. The Institute is a non-governmental, non-profit, impartial, and non-partisan organisation.
The main objective of the Institute, founder Fuad explained, is to provide free Legal Aid services to eligible individuals or groups, in both criminal and civil cases, mainly economically and socially disadvantaged people in West African States.]]>