Renowned legal expert and orator Professor Patrick Lumumba has challenged members of the SADC Lawyers Association to consider home grown solutions and domestically responsive laws as the continent seeks to accelerate the equal access to justice agenda.
The just concluded 20th annual SADC Lawyers Association conference held in Victoria Falls saw strong calls for promotion of rule of law and enhancing access to justice in order to meet the developmental aspirations of member states.
Keynote speaker, revered legal expert Professor Patrick Lumumba who described lawyers as warriors of justice challenged the delegates to ensure home grown solutions and justice that is in accordance with the African context.
“We must seek home grown solutions as African lawyers. It should be our desire to have justice that is in accordance with our context,” he said.
The renowned professor highlighted that in the quest to promote equal access to justice, lawyers should remain accountable to the people adding that high legal fees have made justice inaccessible to the vulnerable in society.
“Legal practice has now become very commercialized and it is worrying that in the end we will become enemies of society we are supposed to protect,” Prof Lumumba.
The delegates agreed there is need to go beyond promotion of rule of law and contribute to the realization of sustainable human development.
“We have an important role to play and must be aware that at the end of the day we have to be accountable to the people,” they said.
The annual gathering of some of Africa’s finest legal minds, also saw strong calls for the legal profession to play a role in fighting the state capture, development of regional trade protocols and most importantly to remain relevant by ensuring that the law is respected.