Proud to support the work of Justice Defenders

Books from the ILBF reach organisations across the world. They are used by judges, lawyers, law students and lecturers, pro bono practitioners and drafters of laws. It is hard to quantify the absolute number of beneficiaries. There are the users of the libraries themselves: lawyers, judges, law students, lecturers, teachers, government ministers, advisers at NGOs, and prisoners. Then there are the wider beneficiaries: the clients, the courts, the families, the communities, the justice system. The impact of the books stretches from the users to clients and sometimes to whole communities. Knowledge has that amazing ripple effect; the words between the covers of a book travel far and wide and help to build networks that are immeasurable in their reach. Such is the nature of knowledge as it flows from understanding to action to change. Nowhere is that more true than in the prisons where our books support the work of the incredible Justice Defenders (formerly known as the African Prisons Project).

The ILBF has worked with Justice Defenders since 2008 and in that time, we’ve shipped over 2,000 books to provide much needed resources to the prison libraries. Justice Defenders sponsors and supports a select number of inmates to study for the LLB degree in law under University of London; so successful has the programme been that Justice Defenders has now established legal aid offices that support local communities impacting not just the lives of the prisoners and prison officers, but the wider community beyond the prisons where access to justice is fragile and cannot be taken for granted.

Last November, we shipped 26 boxes of legal texts to Justice Defenders in Uganda. The books are now on the shelves, providing research material for students and paralegals in the prison to support their studies and the work of the legal officers. It’s feedback that we receive about our books from the users of the library that inspires and motivates us; we were delighted recently to receive photos and comments from Justice Defenders’ students in Uganda.

Canaan Nkamuhabwa, a graduate of the University of London under Justice Defenders’ Scholarship and now working as a legal trainee attached to one of Justice Defenders’ prison-based legal aid offices, says ‘I use these books as a research source for drafting written submissions for our clients and I wonder how my work would have been without them’.

Canaan Nkamuhabwa

Brendah Akatukunda, one of Justice Defenders’ officers, says ‘The books have really helped me so much especially when I am doing my research preparing for paralegal training and advising clients’.

Brendah Akatukunda

Godwil Kenyanya (left) final year law student and Joseph Ekusai (right) Justice Defender officer excited to be receiving and checking out the books donated by ILBF.

From Luzira Women’s Prison in Uganda we heard from students and inmates about how the ILBF’s books are supporting their studies.

‘All the best textbooks suggested for each module have ever been available in the library which has eased the study of the cases provided in the area of study.’ 

Grace Layert, continuing student at University of London in law

‘The books are informative, well elaborated, explained concepts and summarised.’

Hellen Nayiga, graduate in law

‘As the Assistant Librarian at Luzira Women’s Prison Library am glad to comment the books have never disappointed my clients, both law students and fellow inmates who love to know more about the law. It’s always been great to lean on the books’ support. On behalf of all the inmates, am glad to say thanks to the International Law Book Facility for always providing the reading materials to our station. We are looking forward to more materials that are up-to-date that will ease our reading.’

Jackie Nakko, Assistant Librarian, Luzira Women’s Prison

Our thanks to the team at Justice Defenders for providing the feedback and our good wishes to the students studying for their law degrees and to the law officers for their work.

The mission of the ILBF is a collective effort across the legal community. Law firms, donors and packers of books, volunteers, funders, advocates and supporters. From law students, lecturers, lawyers, in house counsel, judges and librarians – it’s impossible to quantify how many people support the ILBF in myriad ways. We could not do our work without them.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 16 Peace, justice and strong institutions

UN Sustainable Development Goal 17 Partnerships for the goals