Committee on Legal Aid will continue to revise the provisions of quality standards

Advocacy 17:35 Wed 29.11.17 226 Reviews Print

On November 29, a meeting of the working group on the development of quality standards for assessment of the timeliness and completeness of the provision of legal aid was held. The meeting was attended by the Head of the UNBA Committee on Legal Aid Serhii Vylkov, the Acting Director of the Coordination Center Oleksii Boniuk, the Head of Department for Legal Aid Quality Control Viktoriia Mitko, the Head of Department for Access to Legal Aid Olena Sinchuk, the Head of Department for Legal Aid Quality Standards Serhii Drelinskyi, the Director of Regional Center for the Provision of Secondary Legal Aid in Kyiv City Oksana Vasyliaka, the Head of UNBA Secretariat Vadym Krasnyk, the Director of Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation Mykola Sioma, and the Manager of the Council of Europe Project “Further Support to the Reform of Criminal Justice” Ketevan Tskhomelidze. In addition, with a help of Skype communication the Chairman of the Higher Qualification and Disciplinary Commission of the Bar, Oleksandr Drozdov, has also participated in the meeting from Kharkiv City. The meeting discussed the development program, the further implementation of quality standards and plan for training of advocates, both those providing legal aid and those who did not enter into contracts with the Coordination Center.

“We had a law in place and legal aid was provided in civil and administrative cases; but the law clearly defines the provisions on the Commission for assessment of quality, completeness and timeliness of the provision of legal aid. Of course, standards and regulations are required. We have the regulations and now we develop standards”, — said the Head of the UNBA Committee on Legal Aid Serhii Vylkov.

The main task of the working group is the development of quality standards for the timeliness and completeness of the legal aid and refinement of the situation for further implementation. Training of advocates on qualification standards will also be conducted. However, the working group also sees some challenges in connection with the enactment of the Law “On Amendments to the Commercial Procedure Code of Ukraine, the Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine, the Code of Administrative Legal Procedure of Ukraine and other legislative acts”.

“We are expecting enormous work, and I am convinced that we will overcome all challenges. It is worth understanding that this work is not for one day”, — the Head of the UNBA Committee on Legal Aid Serhii Vylkov commented on the tasks posed by the working group.

The Manager of the Council of Europe Project “Further Support to Criminal Justice Reform” Ketevan Tskhomelidze offered her help and cooperation, namely, by the involvement of experts at international and national levels. The representatives of the Coordination Center noted that they were ready to make certain recommendations to the finished provisions, as well as to conduct study visits to learn more about similar practices in other countries.

In addition, the meeting of the Committee on Legal Aid has also raised other important issues:

- amendments to the Law “On the Bar and Practice of Law”;

- disciplinary liability of advocates providing legal aid;

- other important issues of legal aid in the regions.

A pilot project of offices of the public defender in criminal proceedings was also presented at the Committee meeting.

Let us recall that on November 25, a national workshop for advocates on the assessment of the quality of legal aid provision was held in Kyiv. It was attended by advocates from 24 regions of Ukraine and the city of Kyiv, as well as by the representatives of regional centers for the provision of secondary legal aid and commissions for assessing the quality, completeness and timeliness of the legal aid provision by advocates, acting at the level of regional bar councils.

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