• Українською
  • Equal Access to Justice and Legal Aid

    The reform aims to popularize the use of legal instruments among the country's public, provide equal access to justice and make sure that the network of legal aid providers matches people's needs.

    Why change anything?

    Despite its international and constitutional obligations, people's needs for free legal aid in Ukraine have not been met in full yet. In addition, a large portion of the public, especially its vulnerable categories, are still characterized by low awareness of how their problems can be addressed lawfully, encouraging corrupt practices, stopping these people from active involvement in economic life, provoking and supporting poverty.

    In addition, temporary occupation of a part of the Ukrainian territory by the Russian Federation created new vulnerable categories of people, including internally displaced persons, persons entitled to the status of an ATO participant and, as a result, to free secondary legal aid.

    Supporting this reform effort will extend people's access to quality free legal aid throughout the country, enhance territorial communities' legal capability and people's legal awareness, reduce the incidence of petty corruption and create conditions for sustainable economic growth.

    What does the reform involve?

    1. Providing equal access to free legal aid 

    The implementation of this goal will extend people's access to quality free primary and secondary legal aid throughout Ukraine, create and secure the operation of new access points to free legal aid and optimize the list of persons entitled to such aid.

    The reform involves introducing a system for monitoring people's legal needs that will help to plan activities of the free legal aid system in line with actual legal needs that people face.

    The information campaign and client-focused web resources of the free legal aid system to be implemented as part of this priority will raise the society's legal awareness.

    2. Providing quality free legal aid to the system's clients

    Priorities of the reform include improving staff professionalism and motivation at free legal aid centers. This priority is to be put into action by developing study programs and by training experts at PRAVOKATOR legal clubs.

    There are also plans to use these clubs for establishing collaboration with partners of the free legal aid system — the legal community and other stakeholders; networking and pooling the efforts of the professional legal community and the expert environment; starting dialog between the Government and civil society.

    This will set high standards of legal aid and introduce a system for quality monitoring of aid given.

    3. Enhancing opportunities for the exercise of human rights in the context of territorial communities

    This effort will improve territorial communities' legal capability and people's legal awareness, reduce petty corruption; develop a network of independent free legal aid providers actively collaborating through partnership and free competition, funded by territorial communities and the Government and supported by the uniform standard and knowledge management system.

    4. Creating an independent client-oriented innovative and effective system of free legal aid

    This priority is implemented by improving administrative processes and introducing innovative solutions to ensure promptness and quality and reduce administrative costs of system maintenance.

    There are plans to introduce automated mechanisms of information exchange between the free legal aid system and other agencies, electronic document flows, developing CIAS (the Comprehensive Information and Analytics System supporting the provision of free legal aid), regularly contributing to and expanding WikiLegalAid, a reference and information platform of legal consultations.

    What has the reform changed already?

    • It created the free legal aid system, one of the most intricate and progressive systems in the world
    • It identified a wide group of people entitled to free legal aid, including low-income family members, combat veterans, including ATO participants, and persons claiming this status; internally displaced persons and persons claiming this status; victims of domestic or gender-based violence; children, including orphans, children deprived of parental care, children in difficult circumstances, children suffering from military action or an armed conflict
    • It enabled the operation of more than 550 legal aid centers and bureaus in cities, towns, and villages
    • It opened access to WikiLegalAid, a reference and information platform of legal consultations
    • It opened a network of 5 PRAVOKATOR legal clubs in Dnipro, Kharkiv, Odesa, Kyiv, and Lviv
    • It started and is successfully pursuing a legal awareness raising project, I HAVE THE RIGHT!, aiming to raise people's legal awareness

    Goals and objectives for the current year

    The 2019 plans of implementation of the priority "Providing equal access to justice and legal aid" include:

    • A number of legal awareness raising events — at least 10K events for people in most rayons and cities of oblast subordination; at least 2K learning and consulting events for local government representatives, including as part of the legal awareness raising project, I HAVE THE RIGHT!; at least 400 learning and other communication events (trainings, workshops, round tables etc.) for attorneys providing free legal aid, staff of the free legal aid system and its partner institutions
    • Improving quality standards and a mechanism for efficiency monitoring of free legal aid. Plans include, among other things, quality assessment of legal aid given in civil, administrative, and criminal cases
    • Drafting and adopting a resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to simplify the methodology of calculation of the fee of attorneys providing free secondary legal aid, determine the mechanism for encouraging attorneys to participate in legal aid quality management
    • Operating remote and mobile outlets for offering consultations to people
    • Further developing the reference and information platform WikiLegalAid

    The reform is implemented by

    the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Coordination Center for Legal Aid Provision, USAID Program New Justice, the Canadian Bureau for International Education's project "Quality and Accessible Legal Aid in Ukraine", the project of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine "Continued Support to the Criminal Justice Reform in Ukraine", the International Renaissance Foundation, PRAVO-JUSTICE

    Key documents and useful links