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Practical Legal Skills Training and Support for Paralegals

Centre for Rural Legal Studies

  • Program Civil Society
  • Program Area Increasing Access to Justice
  • Grant Amount $75,000
  • Grant Period September 1, 2005–August 31, 2007
  • Location Stellenbosch, South Africa
  • Geographic Focus South Africa

About this grant

The Centre for Rural Legal Studies was established to provide information on human rights to rural and farming communities to ensure that these communities understand and can access their rights. The center conducts accredited training programs for paralegals in the Western, Northern and Eastern Cape provinces and provides legal assistance and advice on labor matters to farming communities and organizations working with farm workers in these provinces.Multiyear funding will enable the center to improve the effectiveness of paralegals’ representation of farm workers in labor dispute resolution; provide training in alternate dispute resolution skills and labor legislation to 120 paralegals; improve the quality and skills of at least 25 percent of paralegals participating in training courses through individual and group mentoring; and strengthen the capacity of three advice offices in each province to respond to labor-specific legal needs of farm and marginalized rural workers.Recent accomplishments included training 112 paralegals and trade union organizers on labor legislation and alternate dispute resolution; mentoring and providing legal support to seven paralegals in advice offices and trade unions; and helping 18 advice offices with various cases.