Dear @MOWE2021, thank you so much for your questions. At BBJ we tackle every day injustice through our intervention pillars that include providing pro bono lawyers to vulnerable detainees, training (capacity building) of criminal justice actors, prompting systemic changes through roundtables (virtual access to justice talk series) as well as rights awareness raising benefiting to the great public. In my opinion, ignorance around fundamental rights is both a cause and a direct consequences of injustice while being a key element that nurtures injustice. We develop early intervention model while providing vulnerable arrestees with early access to a counsel, visit police cells to make sure that we integrate a prevention approach instead of redress. If we win this competition, we plan to increase our scope of intervention both geographically and technically.
The underway project is a development of our “rebuilding trust through the rule of law program” designed to bring back/strengthen trust between ordinary citizens and government entities involved in arrests and detention of people. It is our assumption that if due process and fundamental rights are fully respected, then ordinary citizens will be more confident and trustful towards the Government institutions. This is why we tirelessly work for an increased respect of due process rights. In addition, by building partnerships with other relevant actors (governmental or private), we are sure that we will make it as together each achieves more.
You’re also asking the question around Burundi refugees living in countries like yours on our role to attract them back home. BBJ is working to improve the criminal justice in Burundi. Our work contributes to consolidation of peace and we believe that this is very important for refugees to feel secured in the event that they are back home.
To you @meaton, I also send my appreciation for your question. Among so many challenges that criminal defense lawyers face there is the fact of being “ assimilated to the case ” one’s working on. This sometimes entails number of collateral issues that may undermine the self-esteem and security of a lawyer. One may also point a certain asymmetry around the feel of human rights among different categories working in the same criminal justice which erodes mutual confidence between different criminal justice actors; with lawyers becoming in a certain way understood. By bringing together criminal justice actors in roundtables we foster mutual understanding and exchange.