In April 2022, LAW and its partner the South Sudan Law Society opened three legal aid clinics, termed Justice Confidence Centres, in Juba, Wau and Malakal. In each of these Justice Confidence Centres, one lawyer and one legal officer (two in Malakal) provide legal information, assistance, and representation to victims and survivors of gender-based violence and discrimination. This includes referrals and representation before High Courts, 1st and 2nd Grade Courts, Appellate Courts, and in police stations.
In March 2022, the four legal officers and three lawyers received a five-day training on international standards for legal aid provision, South Sudanese criminal law applicable to gender-based violence, LAW’s legal aid guidelines, gender-based violence case management, psychosocial first aid, and the standard operating procedures of the Justice Confidence Centres. In all three locations, the type of aid provided and the justice sought is led by the victim/survivors, and adjusted to their specific needs and requests, using a survivor-centred, trauma informed approach.
The three Justice Confidence Centres officially started providing legal aid in April and May 2022. In their first quarter of operations (April to June 2022), the lawyers and legal officers provided legal information assistance, and/or representation to 23 women and one man. Local authorities and partners have welcomed the opening of the Justice Confidence Centres, as a step towards more widespread and standardized provision of legal aid to vulnerable individuals in the country.