Peter Brits, the Interim Legal Aid Coordinator of the government’s Legal Aid Scheme, which is currently being piloted in the country, has expressed confidence over the project saying that it is currently receiving positive reaction from the public and is doing very well.
The pilot project, which began last year in September, is aimed at giving free legal assistance to the underprivileged and disadvantaged members of society who cannot afford to pay for their legal services.
The project was funded by the Botswana government in collaboration with the United Nations Development Fund (UNDF).
Speaking to the Sunday Standard, Brits said that ever since its inception last year, the aid has been getting positive reception from the public. He said that people are coming forth to utilize the aid which shows that it has been in need.
“The reaction of the public in this pilot project is quite impressive, hopefully by the end of the year we will be presenting the project before the Cabinet for finalization,” he said.
Brits said that the only challenges that they are facing is the financial constraints as they would like to expand the aid to other areas in the country.
He added that there is also need to educate the public about the importance of the government legal aid scheme and its benefits, adding that the Government Legal Aid is very important as it serves to protect the rights of the poor or the underprivileged to access justice.
“Justice should not be only for the rich; it should also be for the underprivileged, therefore people should be treated equally before the law,” he said.
The pilot project is currently being carried out in Gaborone and Francistown at the Attorney General Chambers offices.