ZANZIBAR LEGAL SERVICES CENTRE|
Rights and Access to Justice for all
The Zanzibar Legal Services Centre (ZLSC) was established in 1992 as a nongovernmental,
voluntary, independent and non
profit making organisation aimed at providing legal aid services to
the poor, women, and children, the disabled, marginalised and other d
isadvantaged sections of the
Zanzibari society. The Centre also aims to popularise knowledge on the law and to produce
publications in all areas of legal concern to the people of Zanzibar.
During the 25
years of its
existence, the Centre has grown in strength and works tirelessly to achieve its entire major intended
aims and objectives in line with the vision and mission of the Centre.
In order to achieve these aims
and ensure that
behavioural changes are guaranteed, the Centre strives to ensure that all
people of Zanzibar have a basic understanding of legal and human rights principles and can act on
them in order to build a society based on rule of law, good governance and the observance of
human rights norms.
Primarily, the Centre provides legal aid
in the form of counselling and advice to the poor and those
who cannot afford to hire lawyers to handle their legal issues. Those in need of legal aid visit the
offices of the Centre in both Unguja and Pemba or receive legal aid/assistance from the Centre’
recognized Paralegals who are found in all electoral constituencies of Zanzibar. In addition, some of
the staffs of the Centre who are admitted into the Roll as Advocates provide legal representation in
the courts of law for deserving cases which have sa
tisfied the Centre’s criteria for taking legal
matters to court.
All the legal aid provided by the Centre, be it purely advisory or litigation, is
provided free of charge. The Centre is also actively engaged in the provision of legal education to
c in order to raise people’s awareness on their basic rights and civic responsibilities, this is
done through various means including seminars, workshops, round
table meetings, legal aid
outreach and the media, mainly through television and radio programmes.
The Centre also, prides itself on legal research as it undertakes, through conducting, coordinating and commissioning, research on legal issues. The results of the research is disseminated through meetings in which scholars, politicians, stakeholders and people from all walks of life meet to discuss and exchange views. Some of the completed results have been both attractive and appealing to the government thus helping to shape policies and laws on various issues including the issue of the rights of the c hild in Zanzibar..