Legal Outreach Programme Extends Reach to Rural Communities‏

Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 20, 2016 (SKNIS): The Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs has made its low cost legal services – through its Legal Aid and Advice Centre located on West Independence Square Street in Basseterre –  more accessible to persons living in rural areas by going into their communities. This new outreach programme began in February 2016, to reach a wider range of persons on the island.

 “There are visits [organized clinics] to rural communities to provide increased access to you and so I want to encourage you, if you do need legal representation to listen out for when such a legal aid clinic can visit [your area],” said the Honourable Vincent Byron, Attorney-General and Minister of Justice and Legal Affairs. “This office is a critical one in dispensing justice for us.”

 Speaking at a Town Hall Meeting on Monday (July 18) at the Joshua Obadiah Williams Primary School in Molinueax, the Attorney-General noted that the clinic provides a wide array of services.

 “These include juvenile, maintenance and custody matters and questions of adoptions, divorce and a whole wide range of stuff,” said the Attorney-General. “If you have letters to be written, questions of personal injury, higher purchase and affidavits, and if you are taken before the court for debts and so on the Legal Aid and Advice Centre can assist you. We serve all persons who are unable to afford an attorney.”

 In an interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS), Alethea Gumbs, Acting Director of the St. Kitts Legal Aid and Advice Centre and an Attorney at Law, spoke about the turnout at the organized clinics.

 “From those who came, the feedback was exceptional. They were really impressed that there was actually such a service,” said Ms. Gumbs. “The most common cases that we have dealt with to date at the Legal Aid and Advice Centre are cases that pertain to divorces and those relating to land and tenant issues.”

 Ms. Gumbs said that the staff attached to the Centre is fully committed to the cause of extending the reach and impact of their legal services. To date, a total of 14 legal clinics were held in the areas of Cayon, Sandy Point, Lodge, Old Road, St. Peters, Keys Village, Challengers, St. Pauls, Parsons and Conaree.

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