PAN was born as a result of the desire by Zambia Civic Education Association (ZCEA), Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), Young Women Christian Association (YWCA) and Legal Resources Foundation (LRF) to collaborate in order to promote human rights through the provision of legal aid services. The four organisations realized that the use of paralegals would be the cheap and quickest way of providing the required legal aid. To this effect they undertook a learning tour to Zimbabwe and South Africa to learn how paralegalism was being implemented. Thereafter, in 1998, the first group of paralegals was trained by the four mentioned organizations in conjunction with the University of Zambia School of Law and over 1,500 paralegals were trained upto 2013 before the new developed curriculum.
Later in 2000, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing the Paralegal Alliance Network (PAN) was signed by the said LRF, ZCEA, YWCA and CCJP. The four CSOs recognized the need to draw on the strength that each individual organization had and improve the focus and coverage of their outreach to the marginalized (poor) and vulnerable members of society requiring legal aid services. The establishment of PAN was therefore intended to provide a framework for improved coordination, communication, collaboration and experience sharing amongst the four CSOs.
Moving forward, PAN members started the implementation of a joint project, namely:
“Capacity Building for Paralegal Training”, covering the period: 2000 – 2007. The aim of this project was to enhance the capacity of the four organisations in offering effective legal aid services. The assistance programme focused on improving and standardizing the development and delivery of paralegal training programmes in order to enhance skills and