In an exclusive interview with The Standard, he said: “The institute was established to help people, who cannot afford to pay legal services if they have legal problems. The children who come in conflict with the law, we provide free legal services for them at times not only just providing the legal services just like that but we also have other mechanism we put in place to prevent them from coming in conflict with the law. We have those mechanisms in a form of sensitising the public bringing the children’s together given them a form of informal education in respect of offences that if they are committed by children, such a child will be liable for such offence. We have about six main activities for 2015 and one of the activities, we shall conduct a validation of WAILA’s strategic plan of action slated for on the 11th April, 2015, and a community law day the community law day is going to be a special in the sense that people within the Kanifing Municipal Council KMC those who cannot afford to pay legal services of a lawyer when they come at this particular celebration we will provide them free legal services.
“In that respect WAILA intends to partner with the University of The Gambia law clinic, The Gambia Bar Association, the Female Lawyers Association, and the National Agency for Legal Aid, ADRS, and other institutions that involve in the provision of legal services. We are going to partner with theses specific institutions at that very day for us to call on the socially disadvantaged people within the Kanifing municipality. The celebration of the community law day is not only providing legal services but is also going to be an annual event that WAILA is going to have in order to entertain the public on legal issues like debate on legal issues and other activities that will be able to at least entertain our clients who have been partnering with us and other people that have interest in solving their legal problems.”
According to Mr Touray, the institute does not only want to provide legal services to people within Kanifing municipality but people in the remote areas of the country.
“We have developed this particular programme with the national pro bono celebration week, and this national pro bono celebration week we are going to sensitise people at the provinces to their legal rights and also provide free legal services in that respect we shall cover five administrative regions. Access to justice has often been described as a fundamental human right on its own which other rights can also be enjoyed and it is a right upon which the law is upheld and one cannot develop the country without having rights of people adhere to.”
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 2014. The Institute is a non-governmental, non-profit, impartial, and non-partisan. The objective of the Institute are to contribute to the development of a fair and equitable justice system which addresses the legal needs of the community, and to improve access to justice by the community, in particular by economically and socially disadvantaged people in West Africa. The services of the Institute include: Legal information and education, legal advice and assistance, alternative dispute resolution (ADR) and/or legal representation.]]>