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Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko and Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch Sign Technical Assistance Plan to Strengthen Defense Advocacy

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111111110On March 31, Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko and Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch signed a joint action plan for the implementation of United States’ technical assistance to Ukraine through a new project titled, Strengthening Defense Advocacy in Ukraine.

The project aims to strengthen the potential of defense attorneys providing free legal aid in criminal proceedings by improving conditions for professional development while simultaneously supporting the work of partnering legal aid NGOs.

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Criminal Procedure Code and Procedure on Notifying the Centers for FSLA Provision Violated by Law Enforcement Officials on 3,085 Occasions: Summary Analysis 2016

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17927053,805 instances of violation of the criminal procedure legislation and the Procedure on Notifying the Centers for FSLA Provision on Apprehensions, Administrative Arrests and Application of the Remand in Custody as a Measure of Restraint (hereinafter the Notification Procedure) committed by the law enforcement officials have been identified on the basis of all communications submitted to the regional centers for FSLA provision and the information received from lawyers providing secondary legal aid. The relevant detailed analysis is presented below.

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The Most Vulnerable Social Groups’ Access to Legal Aid: Amendments to the Law “On Legal Aid”

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14 07 01On December 21, the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approved the Law of Ukraine “On the High Council of Justice”, effectively amending the Law of Ukraine “On Legal Aid” by expanding the eligibility people which have the right to free secondary legal aid. Soon, the categories of persons entitled to free secondary legal assistance will significantly expand through the law on the most vulnerable social groups.

New internally displaced persons, persons applying for displaced status, and persons applying for the status of war veterans, including combatants, are now deemed eligible categories of persons with the right to legal aid. Secondary legal aid will be available to war veterans, including combatants, as well as others persons who are subject to the Law of Ukraine “On the status of war veterans, guarantees of their social protections.” Until now, the latter law had only provided war veterans with legal assistance concerning social security issues, but it has now been expanded to permit them to ask questions of any legal matter.

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State Budget Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine approves a 7.1 Million UAH increase in funding for payment and reimbursement of lawyers in 2016

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komitetThe Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine has decided to reduce consumption expenditures of program 3603020, “Ensuring the development and functioning of the legal aid system,” and a result, 7.1 million UAH in unallocated funds will shift to program 3603030, “Payment and reimbursement of lawyers to provide free secondary legal aid.” The increase will finance the payment and reimbursement of secondary legal aid lawyers in 2016.

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Valuing Communications: Strategic Communications Planning in the Legal Aid Ukraine System

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14876262 346897795692685 70425246 oOver the course of a two-day training session in Kyiv on strategic communication planning within the Ukrainian legal aid system, communication specialists created objectives, discussed interactions with various stakeholders, formed messages for them and unified communications in the system.

From October 25-26, communication professionals and integrators from regional and local secondary legal aid centers together with Participants from the Coordination Centre convened in Kyiv. The training was held under the “Quality and Accessible Legal Aid in Ukraine” project and carried out by team leader, Ivanna Ibragimova, along with Alexandra Tselisheva and Tetiana Troschynska. Also participating was the project’s communications advisor, Michel Amar, an experienced strategic communications expert who has consulted the Canadian Government on complicated and controversial communication issues.

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