Access to Justice for Marginalized Communities in South Africa (ACAOSA)

Douglas, South Africa
Joined March 2016
Presence in: South Africa
Focus: Generalist Legal Services

To advance the mission of ACAOSOA towards a united, credible, professional, skilled, regulated and sustainable CAO sector, providing high quality and accessible primary legal services, Alternative Dispute Resolution and other developmental services to ensure that the human rights of the indigent are promoted, protected and fulfilled.

We commit to strengthening the quality and consistency of community paralegal efforts, through mechanisms for training, supervision, evaluation, and community oversight. We seek to make our work more evidence-based, and to increase learning among programs across borders. To that end, we commit to participating in networks of paralegal organizations at national, regional, and international levels.

We call on the South African government to recognize the role community paralegals play and its commitment to effectively participate in in the development of policy and legislation regarding paralegals.

We call on governments and development partners to invest in the scale-up of community paralegal efforts, and recognize CAO sector for its social profit and contribution to the overall development imperatives of South Africa.

State recognition should not entail state control. We call on government to respect the independence of community paralegals, so as not to hinder the crucial role paralegals play in holding the state accountable.