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 Overview

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Lawyers for Human Rights & Legal Aid
Opp. Sindh Assembly Building, Court Road,
Karachi-74200, Pakistan
UAN: 111-911-922 Fax: 5685938

Email: lhrla@fascom.com
madadgaar@cyber.net.pk

Background

LHRLA was conceived in 1990 with the assistance of the Edhi Trust by a group of fifty lawyers. It is a registered association; civilians provide twenty-five percent of the total funding and donor agencies the rest. It is a developmental or structural legal aid group; not only does it provide legal aid but even challenges the law. It asks for law reform where the law is found to be unfair or discriminatory. It asks for legislation in areas where there is a lack of laws dealing with the subject. LHRLA directly challenges the set norms and asks for a change in the system.

Lawyers on Press Conference held at the inauguration of LHRLA

Legal aid has received negligible attention in Pakistan. There are very few private organisations offering these services on a limited basis. Even the government of Pakistan does not acknowledge it as its moral obligation. LHRLA tries to bridge this gulf on as wide a scale as possible, given its limited resources.

 

Access to legal aid has an impact on the entire set-up, which then develops as an inherent system of checks and balances. The effect then magnifies and through its ramifications works towards the betterment of society; 'equality before law' and 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' are recent concepts emerging in a culture fundamentally resistant to change. Democracy without equality before law and non-discriminatory dispensation of justice is a mere farce, and the legal empowerment of people not only facilitates the otherwise ignorant and helpless people but contributes to the well-being of civil society and advances the process of democracy itself.


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