Lawyers come to the IBJ Harare Defender Resource Centre (DRC) on a regular basis to meet with IBJ Fellows, dissect the nuances of cases and access legal resources. We envision the DRC as a ‘safe place’ where defenders can conduct interviews and research, prepare their cases, discuss the obstacles they face, and family members of the accused can seek legal advice. We are continuously looking for ways to expand the available stock of legal materials and improve the resources available to the DRC users. Until now, the resources available in the DRC were mostly online, on our DefenseWiki and Legal Training Resource Center. We are very pleased to announce that Book Aid International has just donated legal books to enhance our efforts to transform the office into an inclusive and resourceful center.
Book Aid International is a UK-based NGO that provides books to NGOs, libraries, hospitals, refugee camps and schools in order to support literacy, education, training and publishing efforts across the world. They have collected and shipped 56 books focusing on criminal law and human rights for IBJ Zimbabwe Legal Defense Program. These include human rights reports, training and capacity-building manuals, legal reference books and dictionaries. This comprehensive list of books and materials will help lawyers in Zimbabwe prepare cases and devise more efficient strategies to defend indigent arrestees in court.
This brings the DRC one step closer to the visionary model resource center; a central hub where the legal culture can flourish. As the program matures, we hope that more and more members of the Zimbabwe justice community will gather at the collaboration venue to exchange ideas and gain knowledge from these resources. Cheers to Book Aid International for their contribution to better equip the lawyers in Zimbabwe to defend the rights of the accused!