Law Society of Ireland donates Computers to Malawi

Law Society of Ireland Donates Computers to Malawian Judiciary

Friday 17th July, 2015

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IRLI Team Presenting the Law Society Computers to the Courts Registry Office in Lilongwe, Malawi

IRLI was delighted to have been able to facilitate the donation of 19 computers from the Law Society of Ireland to the Courts Registry Office in Malawi. One computer was also donated to IRLI’s programme office in the Legal Aid Bureau in Lilongwe. The Law Society of Ireland is currently upgrading its own IT infrastructure internally and IRLI was approached last year by IT Manager Tom Blennerhassett to see whether it was possible to facilitate the donation of the computers to programme partners in Malawi. Following the visit to Malawi in May 2014 by Law Society Deputy Director General Mary Keane and IRLI Coordinator Emma Dwyer it was clear that there was great need for resources of this kind.

The Malawian Judiciary is a key partner in the implementation of IRLI’s Access to Justice Programme in Malawi and it is envisaged that these computers will be able to improve the efficiency of case management and report filing in the courts.

One of the main challenges facing the Malawian Judiciary and the Malawian criminal justice system more broadly is the crippling lack of resources. This, together with the limited capacity of an over stretched and under funded system, results in long delays in the administration of justice and for many poor and vulnerable prisoners this means prolonged periods held in unlawful detention. Whilst efforts are being made to address these challenges, it is not unheard of for a person to spend over five years in detention awaiting trial, or indeed remaining in detention after completing a sentence because the release papers have been mislaid or misfiled.

It was with great celebration that IRLI was able to present the computers to the Judiciary on Friday 17th July. IRLI’s new Programme Manager, a solicitor with Ronan Daly Jermyn, was joined by IRLI Programme Lawyers Orla Crowe and Sarah McGuckin and Programme Officer Mark Johnson.

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IRLI Programme Manager Emma Weld-Moore presents the Computer