ACJ in partnership with Plan International has continued strengthening community child protection structures in legal literacy through trainings, sensitization and awareness creation in Chisunka Chiefdom, Luapula Province . The organisation is pushing for combined efforts in the implementation of child Justice that will uphold a dual legal system that Zambia adheres to.
Formal justice is not enough to ease access especially in traditional systems hence the need to push for the harmonization of formal justice systems with traditional systems.
The organisation has observed that serious discussions towards strengthening collaborations between the judiciary and community justice institutions is a must to help facilitate access to quality justice in Zambia’s traditional settings especially.
This should be precipitated by the fact that majority of Zambians who live in rural communities require means to access justice so as to address the challenges in formal justice, which mostly resort to community-based alternative justice. There is need to discuss these different types of community justice systems and see how they can be integrated to mainstream justice systems.
ACJ believes that there is a traditional quality justice that needs to given more value, improved so as to make it more efficient.There are so many barriers to access and mainstream justice due to a number of factors. Poverty is one critical factor that leads to inability to afford legal assistance and representation, ignorance of rights, issues of culture and language in some instances that makes justice unequal and unobtainable.
The community-based justice systems will help overcome many of the barriers to justice since they are inexpensive, are geographically more accessible, informal, and culturally familiar with good chances of reconciliation and peace that will coexist even after judgment of cases.
Finally ACJ is cognizant of the fact that some cases cannot be handled by community-based justice mechanism but notes that majority of problems faced by Zambians can be resolved through the same mechanisms if enhanced.