The meeting was opened by the head of the organization Liudmyla Kovtun.
Representatives of local governments of Dvorichanskiy, Kupianskiy, Shevchenkivskiy and Velyko-Burlutskiy districts of Kharkiv region are motivated to implement free primary legal aid in communities.
In Dvorichanskiy district a coordination meeting held on April 4 brought together representatives of Dvorichanskiy Law Community Center, Kupianskiy local centre for free secondary legal aid and government officials of 4 above-mentioned districts.
“Being the organizers of the meeting we aimed to extend the experience of Dvorichanskiy Law Community Center and motivate the local governments of districts to choose their own models of providing free primary legal aid in communities”, the Chairman of the NGO "Rural Communities Foundation of Dvorichanskiy district" Liudmyla Kovtun noted.
During the meeting participants considered the following questions:
The law of Ukraine "On free legal assistance": general provisions and approaches to the introduction of free primary and secondary legal aid.
Cooperation between Law Community Center and the authorities of Dvorichanskiy district.
Experience of Dvorichanskiy Law Community Center and Kupianskiy local center for primary legal aid.
Advantages of local self-governments that include the system of providing free primary legal aid.
Lawyer of LCC Vitaly Babyka explained the main provisions of the law on free primary legal aid and ways of delegating this authority to local governments and described the advantages and disadvantages of models providing FPLA. The lawyer also detailed the experience of Dvorichanskiy Law Community Center, paying special attention to cooperation with International Renaissance Foundation and membership in the NGO " Law Community Center Network," highlighting the benefits of such cooperation.
Vitaly Babyka presented the work of Dvorichanskiy Law Community Center. Photo by Rural Communities Foundation of Dvorichanskiy district.
Speaking about the work of LCC, Chairman of Dvorichanskiy District Council Galyna Turbaba noted that the active position of its members in providing free legal assistance was supported by the deputies. As a result the district adopted the program on "Providing legal assistance to the population of Dvorichanskiy district for 2014-2018" that is financed from the district budget.
Chairman of Dvorichanskiy District Council Galyna Turbaba . Photo by Rural Communities Foundation of Dvorichanskiy district.
At the same time, the Chairman of Dvorichanskiy district state administration Valery Prikhod’ko believes that funding is not the main factor of building the system of free legal aid. In his view, the main components of success imply the active position of the community, the involvement of responsible and dedicated people and close cooperation and vision of the common goal of all participants. And then the financing issue will be resolved by itself.
The head of the local Kupianskiy center Yevgen Puchtaievych also spoke about free secondary legal aid and the work of the division headed by him, jurisdiction of which cover 4 districts. He stressed that it is more efficient to work with those communities that incorporate the system of free primary legal aid.
Yevgen Puchtaievych presented the local Centre for free legal aid. Photo by Rural Communities Foundation of Dvorichanskiy district.
“The coordination meeting has made us think about the necessity of introducing in our district system of providing free primary legal aid, as in Dvurichanskiy district”, said the head of Shevchenkivskiy District Council Natalia Onishchenko.
Some of the attendees were pleasantly impressed by the high level of provision of free legal aid. Thus, the Chairman of Kupianskiy District Council Gennady Kivshar noted:
“I never thought that in the neighboring district free primary legal aid is provided at such a high level. I'm interested in everything – “human rights zones” in village councils, the introduction of restorative practices for the safe existence of the community”.
Representatives from the districts showed great interest in the experience of providing free legal aid in Dvorichanskiy district. As a result members of LCC invited everyone to Veliko-Burlutskiy district to a working meeting with heads of village councils - to present the experience of the Center.
The meeting was held within the project "Quality and accessible free legal aid to the population of Dvorichanskiy district of Kharkiv region". The project is implemented within the project " Quality and accessible legal aid in Ukraine" implemented by the Canadian Bureau for International Education supported by the Government of Canada and Program Initiatives "Human Rights and Justice” of International Renaissance Foundation.
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