Mombasa,KENYA:98 advocates in Mombasa have already committed themselves to offer pro bono services to the public within the 1st day of mobilization.
This is according to the chairman of the Mombasa Law society Benjamin Njoroge who was speaking to journalists at the Mombasa law courts on Wednesday.
“The number could rise as the registration will be ongoing throughout the week,” Njoroge said.
Njoroge added that the advocates decided to team up with the judiciary to register for pro-bono work as a way of celebrating his life.
A pro bono advocate is an advocate who offers services free of charge to the members of the public who need lawyers but cannot afford one.
According to article 50(h) of the constitution every accused person has a right to have an advocate signed to him by the state at the expense of the state.
However, Njoroge acknowledges that has been a challenge in the courts due to a shortage of pro-bono lawyers matching the specific needs of the client and says he is optimistic that the commitment of more advocates to pro bono work, will ensure persons who cannot afford legal services also get to be represented by advocates who can match their needs.
The mobilization of advocates to register for probono work is one of the activities in the ‘purple ribbon week’ that is commemorating one year since one of their own the late Willy Kimani was killed by people suspected to be police officers in the course of his duty .
The late Willy Kimani was a pro-bono advocate specializing in human rights.
The advocates kicked off the ‘purple ribbon week’ in remembrance of the late advocate on Tuesday and a spot check by Baraka FM found majority of the lawyers at the Mombasa law courts donning purple ribbons.
Magistrates in the court have have been requested to observe a minute of silence before court proceedings in remembrance of the late advocate throughout the week .