This reform is aimed to provide access to justice for all, including affordable and high-quality free legal aid.
The free legal aid system provides legal support to persons who are subject to the jurisdiction of Ukraine and whose rights have been violated.
– 404,030 people applied to the free legal aid system;
– free legal aid was provided in 711,091 instances, including:
558 160 instances of free primary legal aid;
152 931 instances of free secondary legal aid.
– 245,265 calls to the Unified Free Legal Aid Hotline were processed;
– 620 events were housed by Pravokator clubs, including workshops and other types of training;
– 38,241 legal outreach events were held servicing more than 680,000 participants.
The Supervisory Board of the Legal Aid Coordination Centre has been established for the proper implementation of the Government’s free legal aid policy and for independent management of the free legal aid system.
The БПД (Free Legal Aid) mobile application has been launched to enable users to:
- call automatically at the common free legal aid number 0 800 213 103 and get legal advice;
- apply for targeted legal assistance;
- request information about all governmental hotlines and addresses of legal aid centres and offices;
- get contacts of other legal aid providers by regions;
- get advice on the most common legal issues in WikiLegalAid, Ukrainian legal Wikipedia.
The public need for free legal aid in Ukraine remains substantially unmet despite the country’s international and constitutional commitments. A large part of the population, particularly the vulnerable groups, still have insufficient legal awareness to address their issues lawfully which results in corruption, prevents these people from participating actively in economic life, causes and maintains poverty.
Although the right to free legal aid is guaranteed by the state to a wide variety of groups, 47% of people are unaware of the existence of these opportunities. About a third (34.7%) have heard of such services but do not know how to access them. Only 18.4% of respondents know where and how they can use the right to free legal aid. This means the need for raising public awareness of the free legal aid system.
The reform in this area will expand access to quality free legal aid for general public throughout the country, enhance legal capacity of local communities, raise legal awareness of people, reduce petty corruption and promote sustainable economic growth.
Equal access to free legal aid
The above goal will help expand access to quality free primary and secondary legal aid for general public throughout Ukraine, establish and launch new points of access to free legal aid, and elaborate the list of qualifying persons.
The reform also includes launching the legal needs monitoring system to allow planning free legal aid activities with regard to actual legal issues people have to face.
The free legal aid outreach campaign and customer-oriented online resources to be implemented as part of this priority will help raise public legal awareness.
High-quality free legal aid services for the system customers
Enhancing professionalism and motivation of the free legal aid centre personnel is one of the reform priorities. This task is expected to be performed through the development of educational programmes and training of experts in PRAVOKATOR legal clubs.
It is also planned to use this club network for establishing communication with free legal aid partners — the legal community and other stakeholders; networking and combining the efforts of the professional legal community and expert groups; setting a dialogue between the government and civil society.
This task will help set high legal aid standards and launch the assistance quality monitoring system.
Better opportunities for the use of human rights in local communities
This task will enable us to enhance legal capacity of local bodies and raise legal awareness of general public, reduce petty corruption, develop a network of independent free legal aid providers actively interacting with each other on the principles of partnership and free competition, funded by local and central bodies and supported by the single standard and knowledge management system.
An independent, customer-oriented, innovative and efficient free legal aid system
This priority will be implemented by the improvement of administrative processes and introduction of innovative solutions to ensure efficiency and quality while reducing administrative costs for system maintenance.
It is planned to introduce automated processes for communication between the free legal aid system and other bodies, launch electronic document management, develop the IIAS (integrated information analysis system for free legal aid), update and expand WikiLegalAid reference and information platform on an ongoing basis.
It is planned to take the following steps to ensure equal access to justice and legal aid in 2020:
To streamline access to free secondary legal aid by reducing the number of documents required for getting this assistance. Certificates will be issued to the free legal aid system personnel, not the customers.
To enable the efficient use of the right to free legal aid by victims of trafficking in human beings, children, persons with restricted legal capacity and persons without legal capacity in accordance with the procedural law and practices of the European Court of Human Rights.
To improve remote free primary legal aid services.
The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Legal Aid Coordination Centre, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) New Justice programme, the International Renaissance Foundation, the EU PRAVO JUSTICE project, Accelerating Private Investment in Agriculture project of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.