The first Legal Desk opening in Windwardside on February 23rd was a success with a good turnout of eight people. Nathalie Tackling, a legal professional from St. Maarten who runs the Saba Legal Desk, has already received requests from seven people for an appointment at the next Legal Desk opening on March 30th set to take place at the old day care building in The Bottom.
Tackling said that it was her impression so far that this what she called a “tremendous initiative” taken by the Public Entity Saba so far seems to be filling a void that people are experiencing, be it in terms of having access to legal aid or simply having someone to hear them out, point them in the right direction, clear up confusion and, if applicable, provide legal and practical solutions to their problems. Tackling said the questions are wide in range: from immigration, to rental disagreements, nonpayment, land, tax related questions, and the like.
“I thoroughly enjoyed the first session and I look forward to continuing this project throughout the year and continuing the assist the population and supplement other local institutions as much as possible,” said Tackling.
Tackling will be visiting Saba the last weekend of each month, with office hours on Saturdays from 8:00am until 12:00pm and from 1:00pm until 5:00pm for both walk-ins and appointments. People can email to firstname.lastname@example.org to make appointments and to submit legal questions.
Saba is the first island in the Caribbean Netherlands to set up such a help desk in this form for legal aid. The idea to start this pilot was born out of necessity: residents on Saba have limited access to quality legal advice and conflict resolution in the broadest sense.
The initiative to set up the Legal Desk comes from the Public Entity Saba and is realized with the financial assistance of the Dutch Ministry of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations. The Legal Desk has a Facebook page: fb.me/legaldeskDC