CLS Modalities

Referral to Justice Institutions

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Referral means that a case is passed on to any organisation, outside of the organisation’s own staff or resources.  Referrals could be made to different institutions such as Village Court, Arbitration Council, District Legal Aid Committee (DLAC), Shelter Home, Victim Support Centre – Once Stop Crisis Centre (VSC-OCC) or NGOs or private organisations that provide legal services, such as BLAST, BNWLA, Mohila Parishad, BELA, ASK and others. The key requirements for referral are an agreement or MOU with Service provider, referral slip, complaint summary and follow-up mechanism. Referrals are in many cases a key part of ensuring that the clients have access to the full range of services that will assist them with the resolution of their legal issue or dispute.

Litigation Services

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Litigation Services are provided when the matter in dispute cannot be mediated, or by its very nature, has to be filed in court. When mediation fails, generally the mediation unit will transfer the file to a litigation unit, panel lawyers if applicable or the case is referred to DLAC or other service providers. It may also happen that after the initial interview, by the very nature of the case, the parties may proceed to litigation. The criteria for legal aid for litigation support is – poor, disadvantaged, minority and vulnerable, women and children; however, at this moment,

Community Mediation

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Mediation is an extension and elaboration of the negotiation process. Mediation involves the intervention of an acceptable, impartial, and neutral third party, who has no authoritative decision-making power, to assist the parties in voluntarily reaching their own mutually acceptable settlement of issues in dispute. Mediation is a voluntary process which leaves the decision-making power in the hands of the parties and the parties must be willing to accept the assistance of the mediator. The mediation processes of each organisation are different, however, CLS grantees mainly conduct two types of mediation – community based mediation and mediation facilitated by NGO staff/lawyer.

Legal Information and Advice

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Legal Information pertains to general information that may apply to one or a set of persons similarly situated, that would help them in their quest for justice or a resolution of a dispute. This will also include the collection of information that is necessary to pursue a particular case. For example – where to file a case – the jurisdiction of justice institutions like the village court, district court or arbitration council or information on her/his rights, entitlements  and duties under the law, including rights on child custody, information about property- inheritance

Legal Advice means a specific course of action that is provided by a qualified lawyer or professional in relation to a specific case that is requested by a person or client.