Timap for Justice’s work focuses on individual communities. By utilizing local knowledge and synthesizing efforts with regional authorities, Timap is able to make its services widely available throughout the country.
- Community-Based Paralegal Programme (‘CORE’)
- Mobile Clinics
- Community Dialogue Meetings
- Community Mediation Programme
- Criminal Justice Programme
- Lawyers and Litigation
Timap for Justice has operated its ‘Core’ Community-Based Paralegal programme continuously since its founding in 2003. The Core programme’s mission is to maximize access to justice services, and it remains the backbone of Timap’s work.
Core paralegals are trained in the rudiments of civil and criminal law and procedure, human rights law and the structure of the Sierra Leonean formal government. Combined with their deep knowledge of and familiarity with customary law and institutions, such training enables them to work with individual parties as well as entire communities. Paralegals mediate disputes, assist clients in navigating government institutions, provide information on legal rights and means of redress, and help communities organize to take on justice-related issues. Read More
The Rotational Mobile Human Rights Clinic (Mobile Clinic) was initiated in order to extend Timap’s reach to the most isolated villages, where distance and costs prevent people from accessing Timap services. Each office holds 4 Mobile Clinics per month, one in each cluster in which a chiefdom is divided. The clinics play a vital role in Timap’s mission to provide concrete, practical solutions to the justice problems of ordinary citizens, especially in rural Sierra Leone. Read More
In addition to serving individual clients, Timap paralegals take on justice-related problems at the community level. Paralegals identify community level problems (CLP) from individual cases or through a net of community advisers – the Community Oversight Board members (COBs) and Contact Persons (CPs) – whose role is to support the work of paralegals in the community. CLPs are tackled through Community Dialogue Meetings, which are designed to engage the community and support their quest for justice. Read more
Modeled on the Malawian Village Mediation Programme, the Community Mediation Programme (CMP) focuses on resolution of disputes at the community level through mediation. The CMP’s objective is to create a sustainable method for rural Sierra Leoneans to remedy their justice-related problems. In partnership with the Sierra Leonean government’s Justice Sector Development Programme, the CMP is primarily focused in remote areas of chiefdoms where Timap has no nearby offices.
Timap paralegals have trained and mentored more than 450 citizens in 6 chiefdoms to serve as volunteer Community Mediators (CMs) in their communities. CMs provide information on legal rights and remedies, mediate small disputes within a human rights framework, assist individuals in negotiating with government authorities, and help their communities to identify and address justice-related issues. Timap paralegals continue to serve as mentors and as a referral pathway for complex cases.
Timap’s Criminal Justice Programme (CJP) provides free legal assistance to pretrial detainees in Sierra Leone. The CJP seeks to improve the fairness and efficiency of Sierra Leone’s criminal justice system by sending paralegals daily to police stations, courts, and prisons. Read more
In a limited number of cases, Timap provides direct legal representation to clients and takes cases to court. Timap selects for litigation cases of severe injustice, and those which carry the potential to set important precedents. Timap’s lawyers focus especially on those cases concerning women, children, and individuals who live in remote areas who are served by our outreach efforts.
Because litigation carries significant weight in Sierra Leone, Timap’s capacity to litigate strengthens our paralegals’ ongoing work as advocates and mediators. Additionally, Timap’s litigation efforts aim to restore faith in a formal justice system that remains out of reach for the vast majority of Sierra Leoneans. Read More