The launch also showcased a performance by members of the Dreamcast theater group which highlighted key issues communities face and linked how communities can use the platform to address such issues.
The launch of a new mobile platform by the Public Solicitor’s Office (PSO) means that over 460,000 mobile users in Solomon Islands, representing 66.3 percent of the population, will be able to access legal information at their own convenience from their own communities.
The Unstructured Supplementary Service Data (USSD) platform is accessible on basic mobile phones at no cost to the user and contains legal information on a range of areas including family, land and property, civil, criminal, employment, environment and succession.
Users can access the service by dialing *776# and navigate their way to the required information. The content is available in both English or Pidgin to all mobile phone users regardless of the mobile network they use thanks to a private sector partnership brokered by the Access to Justice Project and the two mobile service operators, Our Telekom and B Mobile.
“Through this new USSD platform, those who are marginalized due to geographical and economic barriers, especially women, youth and people with disabilities have enhanced access to legal information. In addition, with the expansion of our presence in the provinces through new satellite offices, ongoing community awareness programs undertaken by the provincial paralegals and community legal advocates, and the recent launch of our website, people now have multiple mechanisms to access legal information and learn of the services we can offer them at the PSO,” said Public Solicitor, George Gray.
“Access to justice is more than just access to lawyers and the courts. It is a component of the rule of law, comprised of a number of elements which at its core means that individuals and communities