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As the subject of your article "Barrister packs bags for Rwanda trials" (The Lawyer, 28 April) I would like to add some important points. Avocats sans Frontieres (ASF) desperately needs the assistance of volunteer lawyers who can take a month off work to go to Rwanda. All that is required is at least four years criminal experience and a good knowledge of French.
Any lawyer recruited by ASF will work in Rwanda only for a month at a time. He or she will be sent a detailed information pack on how the criminal justice system operates shortly before departure. This forms the foundation for the practical training received soon after arrival. No prior knowledge of their legal system is required.
ASF works under the banner of "Justice for All" in Rwanda. An understanding of this is crucial to appreciating its vital humanitarian role. Not only do volunteers defend some of the 100,000 prisoners at their trials, they also represent the interests of the relatives of the victims of the genocide whose voices often go unheard. ASF is, in addition, heavily involved in training local lawyers whose numbers have been radically depleted.
The contact telephone number for ASF in Brussels is 00 32 2 534 6773.