Global Paralegals

Here’s a little bit of what’s happening with paralegals around the world:

Scotland – Paralegals have been given a brand new professional qualification, meaning they can work towards higher recognition via professional certificates. This means quite a bit to working paralegals as it recognizes the level of sophistication required to be a paralegal.

Canada – Paralegals have been given professional qualification but they are not happy about the organization that will oversee paralegal regulation: the Law Society of Upper Canada, an organization comparable to American bar associations. The paralegals say it is unfair to be regulated by lawyers and a small paralegal committee when they themselves cannot join the organization. They prefer to be self-regulated. They have filed for an injunction against the Access to Justice Act claiming portions of the regulation are unconstitutional. See also the Law Times article.

Bangladesh – Paralegals are making a major difference to women facing familial legal troubles in Bangladesh. The Legal Aid cell is part of a larger umbrella non-profit foundation called Banchte Shekha and is run by volunteer paralegals. According to the New Nation article, “The paralegals have proven to be very effective. By July 1991, they had settled 2,119 disputes at the village level and effected 2,382 marriages without dowry. Attorneys who have evaluated the program have been struck by the poise and confidence of the women as they put their cases before the shalish or hold their own in difficult negotiations.”

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