Bail education booklets
We have produced a legal education booklet, which informs those going through the court process about court procedure and their basic legal rights.
The booklet uses bullet point text to explain the role of the Magistrate and Prosecutor, using illustrations to show the layout of the court, and gives a ‘step by step’ guide on how and when to make a bail application. The guide then goes on to explain common phrases a defendant is likely to hear, including the definition of guilty and not guilty and the role of a surety.
Booklets are delivered to courts in Blantyre and the surrounding areas by CHREAA paralegals.
Due to the low literacy levels in Malawi we have installed a speaker system in the holding cells at Blantyre Magistrate’s Court, which plays a tape recording of the paralegals explaining how and when to apply for bail. This will ensure that all people going through that court will have access to information about their legal rights prior to their first court appearance before the Magistrate.
Toll-free advice line
A free phone number (80 000 333) has been made available to provide those arrested with access to the 24/7 advice line managed by the paralegals at CHREAA.The number is being advertised on local radio and is highlighted on bail education booklets and posters distributed at police stations and courts in Blantyre and the surrounding areas.
Eight handset phones were given out to Blantyre, Limbe, Soche, Ndirande, Chilobwe, Bangwe, Chilomoni and South Lunzu police stations. The provision of the free phones to police stations has not only provided a bail advice line for the accused, but has also eased communication between police and paralegals whenever their services are required.