May 1, 2011

Concerted Efforts To Ensure Efficient Legal Services Register Commendable Outcomes: Minister

Asmara, 1 May 2011- The Minister of Justice, Ms. Fauzia Hashim pointed out that concerted efforts made in the past 20 years of independence towards providing the public with speedy and efficient legal services have registered commendable outcomes.

In an interview in connection with the symposium of the Ministry due to be held in Keren from 2 to 4 May, Ms. Fauzia said that the Ministry has been making strenuous efforts to ensure efficient legal services, expand the distribution of legal services, introduce modern working systems, draft laws that compliment the policies of the nation, train professionals in the field as well as upgrade the people’s awareness regarding the law.

Indicating that the legal institutions before independence were limited to certain cities only and that the laws had no relevance to the everyday lives of the people, the Minister noted that the draft document on civil and criminal laws prepared in 1987 by the EPLF was instrumental in issuing the 1/19 and other eight legal proclamations. The Minister also added that community courts are playing due role in resolving matters quickly along customary lines and efforts will be made to further strengthen them.

Stating that human resources are the basis of any development, Ms. Fauzia explained that priority has been given to the development of trained professionals and that as per plans issued in 1998, around 130 professionals have joined the ministry from various higher education institutions. Additional 345 law students who graduated at certificate level from the School of Law in Mekerka have also joined the ministry. Ms. Fauzia also indicated that there are plans to introduce law into the curriculum since professionals in the field need to also be aware of social values, customs and traditions of the people and the political system.

The Minister went on to add that since customary laws promote social stability and economic progress, while at the same time strengthening national values and norms, the six-year study and collection of such laws has been a remarkable achievement. References were also taken from these laws to draft a number of basic laws.

The Minister of Justice finally disclosed that revising proclamation No. 1, promoting public awareness of the law, strengthening human resources in quality and quantity and linking legal services with higher education institutions include some of the Ministry’s plans.

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