December 17, 2010
Lawyering Summarized in Manual
Ateneo Human Rights Center
(AHRC) with the support of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for
Liberty (FNF) published a training manual for paralegals to contribute
to the formation of more paralegals throughout the country, and
eventually increase the access to justice of marginalized groups.
“This training manual takes on the unique perspective
of human rights advocacy and alternative lawyering. Alternative
lawyering’s goal is not simple assistance, but lasting empowerment.
It does not end with the close of a single case, but persists
so long as inequality and unjust social structures exist,”
said Atty. Carlos Medina, AHRC Executive Director.
The manual explains what it entails to practice alternative
lawyering, and engage in human rights advocacy work. The articles
“Passion for Justice,” “Lawyering
with the Poor,” and “Understanding Human
Rights-Based Approach to Access to Justice” offer perspectives
to understand what it is like to immerse in the situation
of the marginalized, vulnerable, and underprivileged. The manual
provides guidelines on interviewing clients, writing complaint-affidavits,
drafting pleadings, and handling family relations and labor cases.
Instructions on organizing training seminars, and conducting “popular
education” are also presented.
“With the publication of this Training Manual
for Paralegals, we hope to engage more people in our
work of educating the underprivileged of their rights and assisting
them in their search for justice. We would like
to see that human rights advocacy is not merely an alternative
work, but the mainstream. We aim to create a ‘culture
of human rights,’” wrote Mr. Jules Maaten, FNF Philippines
Country Director in his Message of Support in the book.
The manual was launched on 17 December 2010. To get a copy of
the manual, please contact AHRC at +632 8917691 local 2109.