CHA conducts mobile legal clinics in the South, North, East and districts of Badulla, Puttlam and Kalutara. The participation of the villagers is very high in this mobile clinic. Free legal consultation is the main objective of these mobile legal clinics, people in the village meet lawyers and discuss their legal problems and as a follow up we provide them with free legal appearance in the relevant courts with a lawyer. Further more, we arrange for follow up according to the issues at the clinic i.e. late marriage programme and programme on government land problem.

1) SOUTHERN DISTRICT 2) EASTERN DISTRICT  3) NORTH  DISTRICT 4) OTHER DISTRICT
GalleMataraHambanthota AmparaBatticaloaTrincomalee   VavuniyaMannar KalutaraBadullaPuttlam

 

Brief progress of the free legal aid mobile clinics in 2007-2008

 

District 2007 2008 2009 Total Beneficiaries
Ampara 09 01 407
Batticaloa 04 01 531
Trincomalee 01 02 148
Mannar 02 55
Puttlam 01 02 230
Vavuniya 01 04 465
Badulla 03 03 01 129
Kalutara 05 05 02 377
Galle 03 05 01 453
Matara 06 04 02 504
Hambanthota 06 05 01 351

Mobile legal clinics Follow–ups

As a follow on to the Mobile Clinic, identified problems are followed–up through the CHA District Lawyer and Paralegal volunteers. Through this, people benefit from free court appearances, mediation with parties, discussions and coordination with relevant Government officers needed to obtain the required documentation. The needs of the people are illustrated in leaflets and booklets in order to raise awareness and enable redress to problems.

  • Booklets , prepared a booklet on government land law  medium : Sinhala and Tamil
  • Followed  up cases in all  districts
  • Conducted  late marriage programmes

Documentation Programme

The CHA legal team identified the absence of legal documentation as a main problem in rural areas and further identified lack of knowledge on procedures to register deaths, births, marriages and process to obtain copies of these certificates.  Because of this CHA started to conduct awareness programs and documentation clinics parallel to the mobile legal clinic. Hence documentation programmes also are conducted for the participants who accessed the mobile clinics. This programme focused on introduction and advice on issues of birth certificates, assistance to the people or how to fill relevant application forms.


Details of Documentation Programmes and Documentation Clinics  conducted in   Matara , Hambanthota, Kalutara and Galle Districts

Late Marriage Programme, Kotapola   Tea estate .                                                                                             

After the mobile legal clinic at Morawaka, we identified many in the Kotapola estate without marriages.  Birth certificate of their children, applying for the ETF , EPF of the spouse were problems. CHA  conducted late marriages for 6 estates communities situated in Kotapola divisional Secretariat area in Matara District. 26 couples got married under this Programme.


 

Late Marriage Programme Batticaloa

We identified special situation in Batticaloa, of many families with out a marriage certificate. The reason for that, they have never got married but living together while having children. A late marriage programme with the support of Register General Department resulted on 100 persons obtaining the marriage certificate.

Booklet on government land rights

CHA identified that, Government land was an issue for people who live in government permitted land. They do not have proper knowledge on the procedures of obtaining the permit or the grant, and were transferring land without following proper procedures. CHA legal unit prepared a booklet on government land, aiming to give proper knowledge to people and the Grama Niladhari of the country

  Follow-up with Land reform commission

CHA successfully followed up on the issue which came up at the mobile clinic which we conducted in Hambanthota, Waduruppuwa, on 29th of January 2008. More people in this area live in the lands belong to the Land Reform Commission. Some of them paid the full amount for this land but the deed were not issued by the Land Reform Commission. People did not know where they have to go to obtain these deeds. The people came to our legal clinic asking some   support to obtain the deeds for their lands.

CHA Hambanthota district legal team followed up this case and they made a good effort to find solutions. The Hambanthota branch of the Land Reform Commission was closed, but the Colombo head office advised us and the Land Reform Commission in Matara district agreed to provide deeds to the people.

CHA  organized a meeting with the district director of the Land Reform Commission, Grama Niladhari, CHA District officer, CHA  District legal officers, CHA paralegals  and the people who live in that land on  09th of September 2008. As a result of this discussion the officers agreed to issue deeds to the villagers. He issued relevant forms to the people and asked them to fill the documents. The Matara district director of the Land Reform Commission came to the district office on 12th of September further discussed this issue and collected the forms and agreed to issue deed to the people with the collaboration of CHA District office, Hambanthota.

District free legal aid/consultations

To strengthen Para legal programme CHA has recruited 12 districts based part time lawyers to provide the free legal assistance and to enable litigation support. Areas focused on are cases of maintenance, labor, human rights violations, fundamental rights etc. We have provided legal assistance to over 6820 persons via the CHA district office part time legal officers through out the past three years. We have deployed CPN and Para legal volunteers to strengthen the programme implementation and follow up activities. They provide assistance to the lawyers, district officers to follow up and bring legal issues to the district office.

 District

Legal advices/consultations

Follow ups

Court appearances

Ampara

335

52

02

Batticaloa

264

135

17

Trincomalee

30

Mannar

50

13

11

Puttlam

164

28

02

Vavuniya

312

152

01

Badulla

119

23

01

Kalutara

289

59

20

Galle

266

32

13

Matara

326

121

20

Hambanthota

269

112

06

Total

2424

727

120

Litigation

Litigation is an adversarial legal process conducted in a court of law or a tribunal. In court there are strict procedures, where each side presents legal arguments and evidence to support their claims before a judge or Magistrate. The judge or Magistrate applies the relevant law to the evidence, resulting in a judgment in favor of one of the parties involved depending on the nature and value of the claim. In each CHA district office a lawyer is present once a week to provide free legal consultation and appearing on behalf of litigation activities which are taking place in the magistrate courts, district courts, high courts, labour tribunal according to the nature of the case.   We would expect to continue this process also since the demand for this services is high.

Providing legal documentations (Most of the details are represent from RR programme)

CHA has succeeded in conducting important legal documentation programmes for the target groups identified from our free legal aid mobile clinics. Since it is difficult to cater to various legal entitlement/rights at one clinic, we had to conduct separate documentation programme and the basic awareness of documentation entitlement rights. The programme has been designed to be implemented in CHA operational districts in addressing the various documentation and related issues as follows i.e. lost of birth certificate and birth not been registered, death not registered, preservation of passport, renewal of national identity cards (NIC), late registration of birth, providing late marriage certificates, alteration of name at the result of conversation, search of birth certificates, search of  married certificate, late registration of death, alteration of birth certificate and compensation issues of foreign employee etc. The most successful event was that the provision of 1516 late marriage registrations to Batticaloa for war affected people 

Summary of Legal Documentation Clinics – 2008

District Sector  Activity location   No of people assisted
Mannar Issuance of legal Documents- Birth, Death, NIC and Married Certificates Kilimoddai IDP Camp and Mannar DS 1193
Jaffna Issuance of legal Documents- Birth, Death, NIC and Married Certificates Nallur, Kopay and Sandilipay and Jaffna DS 895
Vavuniya Issuance of legal Documents- Birth, Death, NIC and Married Certificates Vavuniya, Periyakomarasankulam, Achchipuram,Mannipuram,Vepankulam and Poonthodam Welfare Centre 556
Batti  Late Marriage Certificate Panchenai, Echenthivu, Mahilavattuvan, Vellavatuvan, Karavetti,Kinniyad and Kalkudah 1516
Ampara Issuance of legal Documents- Birth, Death, NIC and Married Certificates Akkaraipattu, Alayadevembu and Pottuvil 425
Puttalam Issuance of legal Documents- Birth, Death, NIC and Married Certificates Puttalam 255
Total 4840

 

Raising legal awareness 
 
Recognizing the need to impart legal awareness particularly for the IDPs, Estate Sector Workers, Victims of the violence,, vulnerable groups CHA conducted   more than 10 legal awareness programmes in the Eastern and southern districts in 2008 These awareness programmes are implemented through the “Community Protection members” (CPN) and Government institutions and aim to empower target groups with knowledge of their legal rights and duties in terms of the law.  The legal awareness programme were conducted for Estate Sector Workers, villagers, community protection networks, CBO’S, Grama Niladhari, tsunami affected people with aim to impart knowledge which may be useful in day to day life,. Topics covered were Marriage Law, Separation, Divorce, Maintenance, Adoption, Family Laws, Right to Property and Succession, Guardianship, unmarried mother and the legitimacy of her children, legal documentation, Arrest, grounds of arrest, kinds of offences (bailable and non-bailable), arrest warrant, powers of police, rights of arrested persons including the right to bail, the immediate procedure to be adopted in case of violation of rights available etc were discussed with the help of case law in a practical manner.

Matara District

Conducted legal awareness programme to the Grama Niladhari of the Matara

HAMBANTOTA

KALUTARA

Conduct of legal awareness programmes for the villagers

Conduct of awareness programmes to the Grama Niladhari of the Kalutara district

GALLE

Conduct of legal awareness programmes to the district officers and paralegal officers aiming to enhance their legal knowledge

Human Rights Awareness programmes

Grama Niladhari Training on Human Rights

Para legal training

CHA has conduced 11 Para legal training workshops for Para legal volunteers, community protection members and the district staff; in total around 440 persons were trained. All the participants from each district training programmes received knowledge and skills in order to strengthen their legal issues and seek redress. These training programmes were conducted according to the manual and have been developed to provide district office/ Para legal volunteers and CPN members with the knowledge, skill and attitude to becoming an effective community activist. The training manual helped to design a format which incorporates the workshop layout and the corresponding training activities.

Para legal orientation programmes for the Para legal volunteers and community protection members were held in following manner in the Southern, North & Eastern region districts. All the participants in each district training programme received legal knowledge and skills in order to strengthen their legal issues redress mechanisms under the following syllabus Human Rights, Marriage Law, Separation, Divorce, Maintenance, Adoption, Family Laws, Right to Property and Succession, Guardianship, unmarried mother and the legitimacy of her children, legal documentation , Arrest, grounds of arrest, kinds of offences (billable and non-bailable), arrest warrant, powers of police, rights of arrested persons including the right to bail, the immediate procedure to be adopted in case of violation of rights available etc. may be discussed with the help of case law in a more practical manner. All the district participants contributed actively to success the Para legal programme.

Southern district paralegal orientation programme conducted in Galle,

Ampara, district paralegal orientation programme conducted in Ampara,

 Batticaloa district paralegal orientation programme conducted in Public Library Auditorium hall Batticaloa

Trincomalee district paralegal orientation programme conducted at CHA Auditorium in Trincomalee

Puttlam district paralegal orientation programme conducted at CHA District Office,  Puttlam.

Vavuniya district paralegal orientation programme conducted in CHA Auditorium in Trincomalee

 According to the evaluation of this all programme , this training helps paralegal to enhance their legal knowledge as well as trained as a trainee assist to the people  when they need some legal assistance. All participant completed this programme were satisfied about the programme and still work with the CHA legal team.