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National Consultant – Needs Assessment Study on the Capacity of the IPAJ to provide Legal Assistance and free Legal Aid to Vulnerable Groups Consulting National Consultant – Needs Assessment Study on the Capacity of the IPAJ to provide Legal Assistance and free Legal Aid to Vulnerable Groups
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National Consultant – Needs Assessment Study on the Capacity of the IPAJ to provide Legal Assistance and free Legal Aid to Vulnerable Groups

National Consultant – Needs Assessment Study on the Capacity of the IPAJ to provide Legal Assistance and free Legal Aid to Vulnerable Groups has been closed on 06 Sep 2019. It no longer accepts any bids. For further information, you can contact the United Nations Development Programme

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Location: Mozambique

General information


United Nations Development Programme







30 Aug 2019


06 Sep 2019


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Overview :

1.General Background

The IPAJ plays an important role in the group of legal service providers because of its role of assisting the most vulnerable group, in particular women and others vulnerable individual seeking justice. In a country of about 27 million inhabitants (INE 2017) where more than half of the population are women and live in poverty the demand for justice services is high. Although the number of lawyers, legal assistants and paralegals has been increasing in the country, the need for legal professionals, especially outside Maputo and provincial capitals, is still high.

Currently IPAJ counts on a number of 169 public defenders and about 88 legal assistants. The majority of them is recruited through public tenders within the Ministry of Justice. In addition, the IPAJ has been called upon by many partners in the civil society and development partners to embrace new areas such as legal services in the areas of HIV and AIDS, TB for victims of stigma and discrimination, as well as in the area of ​​Gender and Gender-Based Violence.

In recent years, various decrees and regulations have reorganized IPAJ's competencies and structures, reinforcing its role in providing legal aid to poor citizens. Although their status is not enshrined in law, paralegals may practice as legal agents of the community.

Decree 15/2013 of April 26 strengthened the institution by approving the Organic Statute of the IPAJ, which distinguishes between public defenders, assistants and legal technicians. The former are officials assigned to the IPAJ, while legal assistants and legal practitioners exercise legal aid and assistance through partnerships established between the IPAJ and civil society organizations. Although the State guarantees access to justice and the law, by widening the judicial network at all levels, there are still constraints on the performance of the IPAJ. Some of them are:

  • IPAJ's representation at the local level and infrastructures – the IPAJ is represented in all district capitals throughout the country. However, in remote areas its services are not easily accessible due to limitations in transportation and communication infrastructures;
  • Conflict between the IPAJ mandate on free legal assistance with the practical reality of providing legal assistance, limiting the access of some of the most deprived citizens and vulnerable groups to the judicial services. For example:
    • The. the IPAJ provides legal assistance to people in need. People who receive assistance from the IPAJ receive a Certificate of Poverty, which does not exempt them from judicial costs, which means that clients often do not give continuity to their cases in court as they are not exempted from judicial costs;
    • At the level of the legal framework, there is still legislative confusion over the competencies of the various institutions involved in the exercise of judicial representation, their roles and competences.
  • Quantitative and Qualitative capacity of the IPAJ human resources – during the first 10 years of its creation, the IPAJ was not allocated any State budget, which historically impacted on the capacity of the IPAJ to be staffed with either sufficient or qualified professionals. Despite the progresses made in this sense, the number of legal assistants who serve at the IPAJ is still insufficient for the great demand by the population of the IPAJ services. In addition, these and the other IPAJ paralegal practitioners have a low level of knowledge, particularly in the use of available tools related to the protection of human rights. The IPAJ did not develop nor participates ina systematic capacity development program or formation for its personnel, being this task currently delegated to the Judicial Training Institute (Centro De Formação Jurídica e Judiciária – CFJJ).

All these transformations demand technical alignments within the IPAJ itself, aiming at strengthening the capacities of the IPAJ's internal team, in order to better serve the citizen. In this context, the UNDP project "Strengthening Access to Justice, Promotion and Protection of Human Rights 2018-2021", implemented by the MJCR, proposes to hire a consultant to conduct a needs assessment study on the capacity of IPAJ to provide legal assistance and legal aid, which will contribute to laying the foundations for the development of an IPAJ Capacity Building Program in the short, medium and long term.

This activity corresponds to Activity 1.1.1 of the Annual Work Plan of 2019, Outcome 1 "Increasing Access to Justice at national and local level, with a focus on leaving no one behind," which will contribute to meet Output 1.1 "Supported the mechanism of free legal assistance, with a view to improving the delivery of justice services" and Output 1.2 "Strengthening the delivery of justice services at the local level".



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