Ombudsman Bureau, legal aid centre to cooperate in addressing public complaints
by Hani Hazaimeh | Feb 28, 2012 | 23:17
AMMAN — The Ombudsman Bureau (OB) on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Justice Centre for Legal Aid (JCLA) to enhance the legal services both entities extend to the public.
The memorandum stipulates that the bureau will refer all grievances lodged by citizens that lie outside its jurisdiction to the JCLA which will provide legal advice to the complainants and guide them to the proper legal channels to seek justice, OB President Abdul Ilah Kurdi said yesterday on the sidelines of the signing ceremony.
“The OB receives hundreds of complaints from citizens seeking the bureau’s assistance; however, a large number of those grievances are beyond our jurisdiction for different reasons such as being under the auspices of the judiciary. Under the agreement, we will send those grievances to the JCLA, where they will be handled by their staff,” Kurdi said, adding that the agreement will save the OB time and effort that used to be spent sorting out complaints.
He added that the MoU will encourage citizens to come forward with complaints, knowing that their grievances will not be ignored, but will be sent to a specialised entity to address them.
JCLA CEO Salah Bashir, who signed the MoU with Kurdi on behalf of their respective institutions, said the OB represents the conscience of the public sector.
“It is of great importance for people to know that there are institutions defending their rights. We at the JCLA work with other government and private sector institutions to ensure that citizens can have access to justice when their rights are violated,” Bashir, a former justice minister, said.
He added that the JCLA, which was established in July 2008 as a nonprofit NGO, has been working to provide legal aid services to the underprivileged, adding that their mission is to legally empower communities through the use of legal counselling, representation and the promotion of awareness.