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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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PRESS ANNOUNCEMENT. International Conference on Community Legal Empowerment

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logo engDuring 20 – 21 October 2016 International Conference on Community Legal Empowerment will be held in Kharkiv.

Location: Kharkiv, Blagovischenska Street, 1, «Fabrika.space»

The start of the conference: 10:00 AM

Media briefing: 11:15 AM, October 20, 2016

During the briefing media representatives will be able to obtain comments on the subject of the event from Minister of Justice Pavlo Petrenko; Director of the Coordination Centre for Legal Aid Provision Andriy Vyshnevsky; Vice-President of the Canadian Bureau for International Education Larissa Bezo; Director, Head of Development Cooperation of Embassy of Canada to Ukraine Karim Morcos; Executive Director of the International Renaissance Foundation Yevhen Bystrytsky.

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The Council of Europe assess the legal aid system in Ukraine: conclusions and recommendations

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Enberg Petrenko Vyshnevsky 4On 15 September 2016 the results of the Assessment of the Free Secondary Legal Aid (FSLA) System of Ukraine in the Light of Council of Europe Standards and Best Practices were presented. The assessment noted the system’s significant achievements, accomplished within the relatively short period of five years since the system began functioning. Recommendations for further improvement and cooperation with other members of the justice system have been submitted.

During an opening session the Head of the Council of Europe Office in Ukraine Mr Mårten Ehnberg stated: "Legal aid is an essential element of a fair and effective justice system, based on the protection of human rights and the rule of law. This is the basis to increase access to justice within the right to a fair trial, as enshrined in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. Therefore, the introduction of mechanisms to improve the quality and availability of legal assistance guaranteed by the state is very important."

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