Probono & social responsibility
In addition to its ordinary legal services, MOLO is known for its pro Bono services delivered for the interest of the individuals (those who are not in a position to afford the legal service fee to defend the cases which brought against them and claim any right through Litigation in court.), peoples in general and legal practitioners in Ethiopia. The MOLO’s Pro Bono Service includes, but not limited to,
1) Organizing different Training Workshops
In collaboration with different National and International actors including U.S. Department of Justice through the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa, Federal Attorney General Office and Ethiopian Lawyers’ Association, MOLO has delivered different Training Workshops for Ethiopian Law Practitioners which includes Judges of Federal High Courts, Federal Public Prosecutors, Public Defenders, private Attorney/Lawyers and Consultants at law. The Training Workshop was done on various topics of Law and delivered to participants for free without any payment. All the costs of the Hotel Accommodation and related facilitation costs are covered by MOLO and partners stated above.
The Training Workshops were aimed to achieve the following three purposes:-
A) Most of the Ethiopian legal Codes are enacted in 1950’s. Because of this, most part of these codes are amended and replaced by different newly enacted legislations. Following this, different new concepts are incorporated which never been exist under the Ethiopian Criminal Justice system ever. Such new concepts include a Plea Bargaining/Agreement and Alternative Dispute Resolution Mechanisms. Ethiopian practitioners are not familiar with these newly adopted concepts, especially in a practical environment. Because of this, Training Workshop was organized aiming to familiarize the Ethiopian law practitioners to the newly incorporated concept and empower them to sufficiently apply on the ground in their respect.
B) It is known that the Competent judiciary serves the Justice and satisfy the needs of the people in every of the country. To make the judiciary competent, equipping the judges with basic theoretical and practical knowledge is vital. After the MOLO,s Training Workshops, different informal survey shows that the law practitioners benefited out of it and sufficiently served the people in need of justice. Serving the people through making the legal service smooth was one of the purposes of such Pro Bono activity.
C) The aim of the Training Workshops was not limited to introducing and familiarizing new concepts to Law practitioners in Ethiopia. The purpose extended to refreshing previously taken courses by law practitioners in university level. Also discussing related issues of laws which found in different legislations was other focus area of the Training aiming to allow the Practitioners to understand the full regime of the Law. Such refreshment Training helps the law practitioners to apply and interpret the relevant issues in different legislations uniformly, if not at least in predictable result.
2) Free Legal Consultation and Litigation Services /Legal Aid
Since the Establishment, Molo has delivered free in house legal consultation and litigation service in court in Pro Bono bases. The beneficiaries were peoples those cannot afford the service fee for their both criminal and civil cases. About 120 peoples have enjoyed such free Legal Aid opportunity. No strict condition is adopted to identify the economic situation of peoples who are in need of the Service except relaying on mere statements of beneficiaries.
3)Commenting the Draft legislations
Though the law is in affirmative in Ethiopia, there is no practice for private law offices to comment on the draft Codes and submit the comments for consideration to original and/or delegated legislators before the enactment of laws.
As an ice-breaking activity, MOLO has organized workshops on the draft Criminal Procedural and Evidence Code. The purpose was to identify the shortcomings of the draft Codes and recommend the revision considering the MOLO’s critical comments. The comment was made through Workshops which incorporates law professors from Universities and senior legal practitioners; those understand the legal environment of the Country and in a position to cite the problematic part of the Codes. Doing so, as a proceeding of the workshop MOLO has been compiled and submitted to Legislator of the above Codes to consider before the enactment.