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18 April 2019 | Story Rulanzen Martin

The Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice IRSJ) has initiated a Social Justice Week at the University of the Free State (UFS), which started on Friday 12 April  until Wednesday 17 April 2019. 

Ten key events took place during the week. It ranged from dialogues, workshops, talk shows, debates, and interactive displays and events on issues of multilingualism and diversity, social innovation, engaged scholarship, the Fourth Industrial Revolution, gender sensitisation, sexual consent, sexual preparedness, universal access, disability, anti-discrimination, and security.

There was also a round-table discussion on 17 April 2019 with various UFS stakeholders on off-campus student security as well as an inter-institutional discussion on the same topic. The UFS Debating Society will take on the topic of the UFS Language Policy, while Olga Barends from the Free State Centre for Human Rights will host a dialogue on sexual consent.

The IRSJ has also designed and implemented SOJO-VATION: Social Innovation/ Social Change, which strives to create a foundational platform where ideas of social justice, innovation, and engaged scholarship at the UFS and in society can be hosted. SOJO-VATION partners with the Office for Student Leadership, Development, and Community Engagement.

The collaborating partners for the Social Justice Week includes various UFS stakeholders such as the Sasol library, the Gender and Sexual Equity Office, UFS Protection Services, the Free State Centre for Human Rights, the Student Representative Council (SRC), the Office for Student Leadership Development, Kovsie Innovation, GALA, the FFree State Centre for Human Rights, SRC Associations, the Office for Student Governance, Kovsie Innovate, Start-Up-Grind, EVC, EBL, Community Engagement, the Institutional Transformation Plan (ITP) Dialogues Office, Residence Dialogues, UFS Debating Society, Debate Afrika!, the Center for Universal Access and Disability Support (CUADS), and the Gateway Office. 

News Archive

UFS Law Clinic launches Access to Justice Cluster in the Eastern Free State
2010-05-13

In order to initiate support services for various paralegal associations in the Eastern Free State, the Law Clinic at the University of the Free State (UFS) recently launched the Free State Access to Justice Cluster. The cluster that is funded by Atlantic Philanthropists is managed by the UFS Law Clinic as part of their community engagement initiatives.

The overall objective of the cluster is to increase access to justice to rural and indigent communities in the region. Furthermore, quality legal services will be provided to all individuals and groups whose fundamental rights have been abused; the professional capacity of paralegals will be improved; and workshops will be facilitated to inform communities regarding their rights and duties to empower them.

Adv. Inez Bezuidenhout from the UFS Law Clinic says, “The clinic envisages reaching the aforesaid objectives through the provision of support legal services; providing training, assisting with the dissemination of information and lobbying for a stronger and an expanded network of stakeholders in the access to justice arena.”

This initial meeting, attended by various delegates from the Eastern Free State region, was mainly geared towards the identification of challenges and to establish solutions to the problems experienced by paralegals in the provision of legal services in rural communities.

“The cluster is a non-governmental organisation independent of any political party or religious affiliation. It comprises different organisations all aimed at assisting indigent community members with access to justice,” says Adv. Bezuidenhout.

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