LNBA Ends Capacity Building Training For Case Workers In Margibi
The Liberia National Bar Association with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Legal Professional and Anti-Corruption Development Program has ended a one-day capacity building training for caseworkers in Kakata City Margibi County.
The training brought together about ten caseworkers representing the Liberia National Bar Association five Legal Aid Clinics in Montserrado, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bong and Bomi Counties with each Legal Aid Clinic being represented by two caseworkers respectively.
The Legal Aid Manager of the LNBA, Atty. Bendu Kpoto speaking to our reporter at the Legal Aid Clinic in Kakata over the weekend said the training is aimed at educating the caseworkers on how to conduct basic meditation, interact with clients upon arrival and to know which cases they have jurisdiction over.
According to Atty. Kpoto, caseworkers who are assigned in a particular County cannot take registration for a client coming from another County that has a Legal Aid Clinic.
“Somebody in Margibi County cannot take registration for a client coming from out of Margibi County; they are restricted to this County because cases that are coming from Margibi County will be heard before the Courts in Margibi County so they cannot cross their bounds, take for an instant Montserrado because we also have an office there” she explained.
She recounted that this is the first case workers capacity building held at the Legal Aid office in Margibi County which is part of the decentralization process of the institution’s training program indicating that it will enable them to feel each other.
Atty. Kpoto explained that the training comes based on the need adding, ‘so if we realize that there are new complaints coming; new issues being raised that our caseworkers need to be trained on how to handle those situations we plan a new training for them’.
She however defined caseworkers as those assigned at the various Legal Aid Clinics who assist Lawyers and said they are almost like legal assistants that take registration of clients who go to the Legal Aid Clinics and forward their names to her office for approval to be served.
Additionally, she intoned that there are Lawyers assigned at the various Clinics to represent the clients and sometimes the caseworkers are trained to give advice to those who go to the clinic.
Besides giving free legal representation to those who cannot afford, Bendu said the institution also provides services to those who can afford to pay the cost of Court but cannot pay a lawyer.
She at the same time told reporters that the program is working fine in the five Counties because people are taking advantage of the Legal Aid Clinics and are getting relief from complaints that they take to the Clinics.
Madam Kpoto asserted that the caseworkers settle disputes through mediation and they try their best to encourage people not to go to Court, except where the parties are not satisfied and then decide to go another step further by going to Court.
She further narrated that the institution sometimes helps people who are pretrial detainees and give basic legal advice to people who don’t know their rights.
Atty. Kpoto used the opportunity to call on Margibians to feel free and make use of the Legal Aid Clinic in the County by taking their problems to the facility.