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With Georgia’s initiative, the issue of legal aid access in the world is regulated by international document
13:05 28.04.2012
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In Viena, Crime Prevention Criminal Justice Commission of UN Office on Drugs and Crime adopted a Resolution on Principles and Guidelines for Ensuring Legal Aid in Criminal Justice System. The initiators to adopt the document were Georgia, South Africa Republic and some other countries.

According to the information spread by the Ministry of Corrections and legal assistance of Georgia, this is the first global international document which sets key principles and instructions for all UN member states in terms of ensuring effective legal aid service on criminal cases for socially vulnerable population and other persons with special needs. In addition, the Convention grants member states discretionary power to work out and introduce effective implementation mechanisms in view of the specificities of their legal system and socio-economic conditions.

For the last three years various countries’ experts have participated in drafting the document. The final version of the resolution was prepared at the working session of international expert group in November 2011, in Viena. Irakli Kobidze-Law Assistance Service director represented Georgia.

“We were successful to substitute the Soviet Model of Public Lawyers with socially oriented, opportune and effective legal aid system which gained trust among Georgian population and acquired recognition of our foreign colleagues. Georgia’s initiative to adopt the resolution proves again that our country is the successful example of implementing reforms in post-socialist countries”. – Irakli Kobidze stated. 

Free Legal Aid Reform in Georgia was implemented in 2005-2007 period in cooperation with State, International and non-governmental organizations. At present Georgian population has chance to receive legal consultations and quality assistance from a lawyer. With the help of regional offices the services are ensured by the Legal Aid Service which operates within the framework of the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia.

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