The Legal Aid Center is a community service wing of the School of Law, seeking to serve vulnerable members of the community. Our Center was established in December 2009 with an official inauguration workshop.
The services we render are principally geared towards ensuring the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms enshrined in the FDRE Constitution and international human rights instruments to which Ethiopia is a party. The right of access to justice is in the forefront of our agenda. We also aim to facilitate quality clinical legal education by exposing our students to real life situations and enabling them to practice and develop their legal skills.
The Center provides legal aid services for vulnerable and marginalized groups of the society especially children, women, the elderly, persons with disabilities, persons living with HIV/AIDS and prisoners who cannot access genuine legal counsel due to their financial and related incapacities.
Our multifaceted legal aid services range from providing basic information to our clients to preparation of various pleadings such as statement of claim, statement of defense, memorandum of appeal and court room representation in selected cases using licensed advocates within our faculty. The legal literacy program of the center is also conducted to enhance basic legal knowledge for the community at large and to inmates where our centers are located.
In November 2010, our Center began a process of expansion and the services of the center which were limited to one office in the town of Gondar have now grown to include 15 branch offices in 8 Woredas of North and South Gondar Zones. These are:
- Main Branch –Medhanealem Area Kebele,Gondar Town
- High Court Branch- in North Gondar Zone High Court-Gondar Town
- Azezo Branch- Located in Azezo Sub-Woreda Azezo Dimaza Kebele
- North Gondar Prison Branch- N/Gondar Prison Center- Gondar
- Koladiba Branch- N/Gondar Zone -Dembiya Woreda
- Maksegnit Branch- N/Gondar Zone Gondar Zuriya Woreda
- Tikildingay Branch- N/Gondar Zone Lay Armachiho Woreda
- Chilga Main Branch- N/Gondar Zone Chilga Woreda
- Chilga Prison Branch- N/Gondar Zone Chilga Prison Center
- Addis Zemen Main Branch- S/Gondar Zone Libo Kemkem Woreda
- Addis Zemen Prison Branch- Addis Zemen Prison Center
- A/Giorgis Branch-North Gondar Zone-Wogera Woreda
- Debark Branch- North Gondae Zone Debark woreda
- Debretabor Main Branch-South Gondar Zone
- Debretabor Prison Branch-South Gondar Zone Debretabor Prison Center
The Legal Aid Center is managed by a Director, Ato Addis Gemechu, and a Vice Director, Ato Andualem Eshetu, both drawn from among the School of Law staff. The work is also supported by a legal professional and secretary for each branch and benefits from a limited number of supportive staff.
In order to assure the quality of our services, the professional competence of the service providers is decidedly important. Therefore our practice benefits from the input of full-time lawyers; instructors from the School of Law in an advisory and supervisory capacity; and 3rd, 4th and 5th year law students (under supervision).
Since our establishment in December 2009 we have been able to provide legal advice, counseling, pleadings and a range of other supportive services for 18,625 vulnerable and needy people. Whilst not all of our services can be valued in money, we able to calculate that we have saved and won more than 10,000,000 birr for our clients.
Our Partners and Supporters
Our main partner organization is the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission (ECHR). We also work very closely with a range of local and national stakeholders.
Being inspired by the vibrant services we are rendering in their localities, not to mention other offers and assists, the following institutions have given us the following major supports:
- North Gondar High Court has given us a free space in its compound so that we can erect a service giving center of ours.
- The North Gondar Prison Administration gave us an office within its compound.
- The Azezo Dimaza Kebele Administration gave us an office within its compound which is very close to the court.
- The Addiszemen Mayor’s office gave us an office for free and promised to give us land in the future.
- The Addiszemen Prison Administration gave us an office for free.
- The Gondar Zurya justice office gave us an office for our center in Maksegnit town.
- The Dembia Woreda Justice Office has given us an office for free while the woreda administration has promised to give us land for our office in an accessible area in Koladiba town.
- The Lay Armachiho Woreda Administration have given us an office and also promised to give us land for our office in Tikildingay town.
- Chilga Prison Administration has given us an office for free.
- Debark woreda court has provided us one of its office.
- Wogera Woreda Justice office has given us office for the branch opened in Ambagiorgis
- South Gondar Zone Justice office gave us an office for free. (New)
- South Gondar Zone Correction center has provided us an office for the prison center. (New)
1. Services based on Category of Legal Services
If you would like to find out more about our work or contribute to our efforts in any way please contact:
- Ato Addis Gemechu
- Tel (mobile):
- Vice Director:
- Ato Andualem Eshetu
- Tel (mobile):
“Achieving our aims through a closer association with society”