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The Second Regional Forum was held on March 16-18, 2010 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and was hosted by the Tanganyika Law Society. The Eastern African participants at the Forum consisted of senior representatives of the NWG institutional members from Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and representatives of the Ethiopian Bar Association, the Federation of Ethiopian Bar Associations and the Ethiopian Ministry of Justice. The Canadian participants included: Mr. Ryan Peck, Executive Director of the HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic (HALCO) in Toronto; Ms. Susan McGrath, past President of the CBA and Vice-Chair of the Law Society of Upper Canada’s Paralegal Standing Committee; Mr. Jeffrey Schnoor, Deputy Minister and Deputy Attorney General for Manitoba Justice; and Mr. Justice Brian Weagant of the Toronto Youth and Family Court.
The objectives of the Forum were to: share the progress and challenges encountered by the NWGs; share Canadian experience on key substantive issues selected by the NWGs; discuss justice reform and stakeholder collaboration; facilitate discussions on key workplan elements (role of NWG members, collaboration, reform processes, gender mainstreaming, role of Canadian technical assistance, sufficiency of resources, identifying implementation challenges and strategies for addressing those challenges, measuring success); provide an opportunity for modification of the NWG workplans; and facilitate dialogue between stakeholders within the region and countries.
On the first day, representatives from each country gave presentations on the progress made by each NWG since the First Regional Forum. The country presentations were followed by presentations by Justice Weagant and Ryan Peck on their experience collaborating with other justice system stakeholders to improve access to justice through the Youth and Family Court and HIV/AIDS Legal Clinic in Toronto. At the end of the day, the participants discussed the process of collaboration within their NWGs and country groups. The Canadian High Commissioner and the Tanzanian Minister of Constitutional Affairs and Justice attended the welcome dinner on the first day of the Forum and gave speeches expressing their support for the Program and legal reform in Tanzania more broadly.
On the second day, representatives of each country gave presentations on the policy reform process in their country and addressed how the NWG policy reform initiatives would fit into those processes. Presentations on Canadian policy reform processes, strategies and experiences were provided by Jeffrey Schnoor, Susan McGrath and Ryan Peck. The participants then discussed the policy reform process in each of their countries, the challenges that each NWG might face and discussed strategies for addressing those challenges. In the afternoon, there was a presentation on gender mainstreaming by a Tanzanian gender and HIV/AIDS legal expert, Ms Magdalena Rwebangira, who is also a practicing advocate and member of the TLS HIV/AIDS Committee. Following her presentation there was further time for discussing the implementation challenges that the NWGs might encounter. On the final day, the Program Director gave a presentation on Results Based Management and the Regional Program Director and Deputy Director facilitated a discussion on the participants’ theory of change regarding the collaborative work of the NWGs. The afternoon discussion focused on regional issues, sharing of knowledge and experience between countries and a review and closing of the Forum.
Forum materials: Enforcement of the Law on Pro Bono Responsibility of Federal Courts Advocates in Ethiopia (.doc)
The First Regional Forum was held from September 2-4, 2009, in Kampala, Uganda. The purpose of the Forum was to engage the key justice system stakeholders in each of the four partner countries in Eastern Africa in discussions around justice system reform and access to justice that would serve as a basis for the formation of National Working Groups made up of all of the key stakeholders in each country. Representatives of government, the judiciary, the bar and civil society from each country were invited to attend.
The local host for the Forum was the Uganda Law Society (ULS). Several members of the Canadian Advisory Committee for the Program participated in the Forum as well: Justice Robert Blair, Darrel Pink and Jeffrey Schnoor. In addition, given that one of the themes for the Forum was access to justice, Mr. John McCamus, who is Chair of Legal Aid Ontario, Canada’s largest legal aid agency, was also invited to participate in the Forum.
The Forum began with presentations from representatives of each of the four Eastern African countries on justice system reform initiatives in each of their own countries on issues such as court administration, reform of the prosecutorial service, sector-wide justice system reform programs and legal aid initiatives. The Canadian participants also presented their experiences with justice system reform in Canada, including reforms related to case management, court administration, criminal justice and legal aid.
The issues identified were as follows:
For more information, please read the detailed Report on the First Regional Forum
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