Legal Aid lawyers empowered

27 May 2014 10:00am
SWAKOPMUND, 27 MAY (NAMPA) - A total of 19 lawyers employed by the Ministry of Justice's Directorate of Legal Aid were presented with trial advocacy certificates in Swakopmund on Saturday.
They attended a five-day trial advocacy training course in Swakopmund last week before the ceremony where acting Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Justice Gabriel Nepaya, officiated.
The public relations officer (PRO) in the Ministry of Justice, Simon Idipo told Nampa on Monday the refresher training was aimed at improving the techniques legal representatives use while conducting trials.
“It is intended to give practical training on how to effectively conduct trials in our courts, as most of the legal representatives came directly from varsity and their practical skills still need to be developed,” Idipo said.
Two participants interviewed by Nampa on Monday indicated that the training opened their eyes to a lot of things they did not know.
“We feel more empowered than before, a lot of us came from law school where we were mostly taught theory so having the chance to be introduced to further techniques on how to conduct trials is enlightening and very beneficial,” said Natji Tjirera, a Legal Aid lawyer based in Opuwo.
Tjirera said going through the training made him realise how important practical training is in his field.
“With the knowledge we have now we are able to defend our clients much better than before. I can give my assurance that their defence will not be compromised, as we mostly deal with those who cannot afford to pay for private lawyers,” Tjirera stated.
Tania Chamel Klazen, who is based in Walvis Bay, added that this type of training must be extended to all courts country-wide as it is “very enlightening”.
“The training far exceeded my expectations; we need more such training. Many of us were taught the theoretical part of law, but this training showed us how to conduct trials in court which is very important to me because now I can perform better,” Klazen told this news agency.
She said the workshop also encouraged them to work hard to defend their clients, and provided them with pointers on what makes a good defence lawyer.
The training was conducted by the Black Lawyers Association (BLA) from South Africa in conjunction with the Ministry of Justice.
It will be extended to the rest of the magistrate’s courts in the country in July and August.
The BLA is a voluntary and non-racial association of black lawyers in South Africa. It was formed in 1970 for the purpose of resisting prosecution of black lawyers who practiced law in the central business districts of the so-called white towns.