British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) Bilateral Programme Malawi
We are extremely grateful to the Bilateral Programme for funding the bail project between May 2013 and May 2014. Thanks to their support we have been able to install a speaker system in Blantyre holding cells, facilitate training sessions with 20 Magistrates and 35 Police Officers, and distribute booklets to 9 courts and 11 police stations in Blantyre and surrounding areas.
The distribution of bail education booklets/posters and toll free paralegal advice line combined with the bringing together of key stakeholders responsible for facilitating justice, has proven to increase the amount of bail applications heard and granted.
Prior to project implementation in 2012, only 9-10% people who were arrested and taken to the 9 courts we surveyed in Blantyre and surrounding areas, were granted bail. During the same period in 2013, after the distribution of our bail education booklets, 54% of people were granted bail. Data collected between January and June 2014, shows this has now increased to 70%.
Pilot Project: November 2012 – February 2013.
Thanks to Matrix Chambers Community Fund we were able to distribute booklets to 9 Magistrates Courts and 5 Police Stations in Blantyre and the surrounding areas.
The key successes identified from the pilot project include:
- The number of people granted bail during the pilot was more than three times the amount of people granted bail during the four-month period prior to the projects implementation.
- The toll free line received a minimum of ten calls a day, where people received advice as to their legal rights from paralegals at CHREAA.
- The Magistrates’ training was extremely well received and was featured in the Malawi Sunday Times