Justice shelters coming to hard-hit regions // Haiti

The Quebec chapter of Lawyers Without Boarder will help get Haiti's judicial system back up and running

By Todd Harrison

On Monday February 1st, 2010

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photo by UNICEF SverigeLawyers Weekly reports this week that the Quebec chapter of Lawyers Without Borders is working on creating a “judicial Red Cross” in Haiti.

Once it’s up and running, the program — which will be based out of “justice shelter” tents erected where need is greatest — will support local legal professionals and judges and aid in the provision of legal information, consultations and mediation.

Pascal Paradis, executive director of Quebec’s Lawyers Without Borders division, stressed in an interview with Lawyers Weekly the urgent need for this kind of legal infrastructure:

A lot of people working in the justice system have unfortunately been affected by the earthquake. Some have died, others have disappeared and others are injured. Yet others have lost their files, their offices. We have to think, as of now, of how to help re-establish a system of justice where the rule of law can reign again. We cannot wait two years, a year or even six months. We are now realizing more and more that justice has to be treated as part of the emergency response.

The Barreau de Quebec has donated $100,000 to aid in implementing this new initiative.


Photo by UNICEF Sverige