Mr. Clifford Msiska is a human rights lawyer (LLM) based in Lilongwe, Malawi. He is the founder of Paralegal Advisory Services in Malawi-May 2000. He uses his legal expertise to help the poor and vulnerable people to access justice in Malawi, Africa and beyond through training and mentoring paralegals working at the frontline of criminal justice systems and those working in communities as Village Mediators.
He worked as a legal officer for a local human rights organization in Malawi for over five years before joining Penal Reform International (PRI) from 2000 to 2006 as a Regional Coordinator responsible for paralegal services in Eastern and Southern Africa. While working for the Penal Reform International, Clifford developed paralegal training courses and conducted paralegal trainings in Malawi and other countries. He also helped countries to introduce paralegal services in their countries.
Clifford is the National Director of Paralegal Advisory Service Institute (PASI)-a local human rights non-governmental organization-which employs paralegals who work in police stations, prisons, courts, and communities in order to help the poorest of the poor access justice.
As a legal expert, he develops paralegal training courses, and trains paralegals and village mediators working for the Paralegal Advisory Service Institute and any other governmental and non-governmental institutions in Malawi and abroad.
Clifford Msiska is the current chairperson of the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice and the founding member in charge of publicity and international relations.
Dr. Annette Mbogoh is an advocate of the High Court of Kenya with fifteen (15) years standing. She undertook her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree at the University of Nairobi and Postgraduate Diploma in Law at the Kenya School of Law in Nairobi. She later pursued a Masters in Women’s Law (MWL) and Doctor of Philosophy in Law (DPhilLaw) from the Southern and Eastern Africa Regional Centre for Women’s Law in the University of Zimbabwe. She has conducted empirical research work on trafficking and sex tourism involving the youth in the Coast County of Mombasa, gender and public participation of women in land governance and transitional justice processes and disability rights.
Dr. Mbogoh has over 10 years’ experience working in civil society more so in the area of social justice. She is currently the Executive Director of Kituo cha Sheria-Legal Advice Centre, the oldest legal aid organisation in East, Central and the Horn of Africa. Kituo cha Sheria-Legal Advice Centre runs legal empowerment programmes for poor and marginalised communities through legal aid and education, single-welfare and impact litigation, advocacy, governance, community partnerships and paralegalism. The core mandate areas of Kituo cha Sheria-Legal Advice Centre involve land, labour, housing, succession, forced migration and human rights generally. She has over 10 years teaching experience at the University of Nairobi’s School of Law. Her areas of interest are gender, human rights, family law, access to justice and clinical legal education.
Dr Mbogoh is the founding member in charge of communications and advocacy.
Me. Andrews Kananga is currently the Executive Director of the Legal Aid Forum – Rwanda, a position he has held since 2008. From 2004 – 2008, he was a Senior Legal adviser to National Semi-traditional Courts (Gacaca) that were charged with trials of people suspected of having committed Genocide in Rwanda. In 2012, Andrews was among the three Legal experts nominated by the Ministry of Justice in Rwanda to oversee the development of a legal aid policy in Rwanda.
Andrews has contributed enormously to legal reforms in Rwanda which ushered in the legal aid policy, legal aid bill, reform of the penal code and criminal procedure code and many more pieces of legislation that favour access to justice for the poor and vulnerable in Rwanda. He is currently a member of the Court Mediation Advisory Committee in Rwanda. He was appointed in 2020 by the Honourable Chief Justice.
He is a founding member of the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice (ACE-AJ) and head of research in the same centre.
Simeon Koroma is the founding director of Timap for Justice – a pioneering organisation in Sierra Leone that provides primary justice services through community-based paralegals. Simeon has been a leading advocate of meaningful community engagement in access to justice in Sierra Leone for more than two decades. He spearheaded the campaign for the formal recognition of paralegals and the establishment of a Legal Aid Board in Sierra Leone. He is the recipient of several awards, including the prestigious Stanford University Social Entrepreneur in Residence Fellowship in recognition of his contribution to social justice.
As a lawyer, Simeon speaks widely on governance, accountability, and human rights, and he continues to play a key role in civil society’s dialogue on the provision of primary justice services in Sierra Leone and on the continent. He holds a PhD from the University of Edinburgh, with research interests in law and disputing processes, decolonisation, state-building, post-conflict reforms, human rights, and access to justice.
He is a founding member of the African Centre of Excellence on Access to Justice. Simeon is the founding member in charge of capacity building.
Tshenolo is the Executive Director at the Community Advice Offices in South Africa, the national coordinating body of community advice offices in the country. She is a paralegal by profession, her career began with the Legal Aid South Africa where she worked from 2009 until 2015 as the Alexandra Justice Centre Civil Unit Paralegal. She then joined ProBono.Org in 2015 to manage the Housing, Refugee and Community Advice Office Support Project.
Through these projects, she developed a collaborative involvement of the private legal profession to utilize community advice office spaces as access points for pro bono work. The project has seen the research of case work and meditations seen at community advise offices culminate into a journal article that is co-authored with Dr. Maxim Bolt from the University of Birmingham on the disputes over “family” homes in urban townships of Gauteng – the article is featured in the South African Journal on Human Rights, published in July 2019.
With 11-years’ experience in the field, her area of focus and passion remains in the community advise office sector wherein she hopes her current role will bring about much needed regulatory, and resources bases that are premised on recognizing the invaluable role that advise offices play in ensuring access to justice. She is representing South Africa as one of the 5 founding members of the African Centre of Excellence for Access to Justice, responsible for fundraising. She is also a board member for the South African Board for Sheriffs, wherein she chairs the Complaints Sub-committee since June 2021.
She is a mother to two boys and is currently completing her Business Administration Degree.
Abdul Tejan-Cole holds an LLB (hons) degree from the University of Sierra Leone, an LLM from the University of London, and a postgraduate diploma in international law. He has been practising law since 1991. He was the Deputy Director of the Cape Town office of the International Centre for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), the Executive Director of OSIWA. Abdul also headed one of the most prominent national human rights non-governmental organisations in Sierra Leone, Campaign for Governance, the Human Rights Assistant with the United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNOMSIL), and the Appellate Counsel and Trial Attorney at the United Nations and Sierra Leone-established Special Court for Sierra Leone.
Additionally, he was the president of the Sierra Leone Bar Association and a member of the Sierra Leone Anti-Corruption Commission. He instructed the legal systems of Sierra Leone, land law, tort law, and contract law at Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone, and Sierra Leone Law School. He has written extensively on human rights, access to justice, the rule of law, and transitional justice, and was instrumental in establishing the Human Rights Clinic at Fourah Bay College.