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In collaboration with Law Faculty of Gadjah Mada University, Legal Aid Institutions from Semarang and Yogyakarta, ARuPA held Paralegal Training for Farmers in Blora, Central Java 20 – 21 September 2015. The training lasted for two days involving 14 participants from community organization named Lidah Tani.

The main purpose of holding this Paralegal training is to create the legal empowerment of the community so that the people do not experience legal arbitrariness from law enforcer. Specifically, this paralegal training intended to create an understanding and skills of farmers on legal aid for environmental cases, particularly forestry. Furthermore, it also is also expected to produce paralegal cadres and consolidate farmers movement related with farmer criminalization issues.

The training itself is a follow-up effort from collecting data activity carried out by ARuPA in Blora last month. In the data collection activity, it was found that the villagers around the forest does not have ability and skills yet in the legal field, especially in forestry criminal law. Furthermore, people is also unable to pay a lawyer to handle it. This makes a chance of abuse of power by law enforcer on legal proceedings against the public.

Therefore, ARuPA initiated a paralegal training in order that the participants could give an aid in the form of legal assistance to the community around the forest who is facing legal cases.

The Paralegal which intended is people who have ability and skill to do legal aid to the community who facing law case. The legal aid from this paralegal could be “the first aid” from the handling of law case which faced by the community.

This training resource persons were from various stakeholders, one of them is Totok Dwi Diantoro from Law Faculty of Gadjah Mada University. In his session, Totok much conveyed about the history of how forest is regulated politically and legally by the state, the variety of rules of law about the community interaction with the forest, and how the position of people’s organizations on the condition of the legal arrangement.

In addition, the other material conveyed was the procedure and paralegal skills. The material submitted by Rizky Fatahillah from Legal Aid Institutios of Yogyakarta. To increase the comprehension, the participants were also asked to criticized a case along with Zaenal Arifin, a member of Legal Aid Institutions of Semarang.

Positive response concerning this training came from Sukardi, one of the participants. He claimed that the training was fun, because the atmosphere was not rigid. In addition, the material presented by speakers enriched his knowledge. He also hoped that this kind of training could be held continually in the future.

For the next activity, ARuPA will make an assistance process related to the dissemination of paralegal knowledge to the other members, especially the advocacy division in each working area of Lidah Tani Blora.

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