AFELL Mediates Over 500 Cases

Reporter

-Says Its Intervention Has Helped Reduce Courts Dockets

Female lawyers posed for photograph, AFELL President, Atty. Vivian Neal making statement during the retreat

The Association of Female Lawyers of Liberia (AFELL) says it has resolved 545 cases through mediation, the President of the group has said.

Attorney Vivian D. Neal, president of AFELL speaking over the weekend in Bentol City, at the start of a two-day retreat and mediation training of female lawyers, indicated that they achieved the success covering the period of 2016-2017.

According to AFELL’s president, based on their work, they have been granted UNDP / UNMIL joint project to mediate more cases and seek legal redress for women, children and indignant persons in court for a period of one year.

“Our members are encouraged to come at the office whenever they are available to assist with some of the mediation and legal representation at court,” Atty. Neal added.

She went on saying that through the European Union, they are seeking speedy trial for women and youth in prison, particularly in Nimba, Bong and Lofa Counties.

“We also giving awareness on sexual gender-based violence in those areas,” she said.

Commenting on the issue of SGBV, the AFELL boss indicated that from January to September 2017 according to statistics, a total of 892 Sexual and Gender Based Violence cases were reported.

The Female lawyer president said that out of the total 892 SGBV cases, 506 are rape cases while 475 involved children.

Looking in the faces of her fellow lawyers, madam Neal said “the public looks to us as one of the leading organizations in minimizing and bringing this unwholesome practice to an end” stressing “our practice behooves us to help find remedy to those problems”.

Giving a background of the two days retreat, the female lawyer indicated that it grew out of their desire to come together as stakeholders to discuss the well-being of their organization.

She also said the retreat intends to review and reassess the AFELL’s mandate in other to chart a new course for the future.

“This retreat is also aimed at reawakening the spirit which gave rise to the funding of AFELL. It is evident to me that the mutual trust and friendship that existed at the funding of our organization is no longer as strong as it was. This is understandable due to the fact that most of us have assumed new roles which are demanding and leave little room for our commitment to the organization” Atty. Neal told her fellow female lawyers.

Also speaking at the start of the two days retreat, was Liberia’s former Chief Justice, Francis Johnson who reminded those female lawyers about the reasons for which they came into being.

She spoke against compliancy on the part of AFELL, by encouraging them to tap on the gains they have made over the years.

According to Cllr. Johnson, female lawyers should also focus on mediations as one of the surest ways to helping reducing the number of cases on the dockets in various courts.

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