Governments must join hands with civil society and the private sector to ensure equal access to justice for all

Peter Wiebler, USAID Caucasus Mission Director 
 USAID Caucasus Mission Director Peter Wiebler at the International Legal Aid Conference
USAID

The third International Legal Aid Conference in Georgia highlights global challenges and offers practical solutions in creating and reforming free legal aid systems for the poor and vulnerable

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Global challenges related to ensuring equal access to justice for all and free legal aid for the poor and vulnerable are the focus of the third International Legal Aid Conference (ILAC) ongoing in Tbilisi on 13-15 November 2018. The three-day event brings together 300 delegates from over 60 countries to discuss how countries can improve access to legal aid in their unique national contexts and deepen international cooperation in this critical field.      

ILAC 2018 in Georgia is the third international forum on legal aid following the conferences in South Africa (2014) and Argentina (2016).

“We are honoured to host a global event of such a scale and importance and share Georgia’s decade-long experience in establishing and expanding the state-funded legal aid service that helps over 30 thousand people every year,” said Irakli Kobakhidze, Georgian Parliament Speaker, in his welcome remarks to the ILAC participants.

The third International Legal Aid Conference, ILAC 2018, addresses common challenges faced by the governments and legal aid providers in ensuring access to legal services for the poor and vulnerable. This largest international forum invites representatives of Parliaments, Governments, human rights defenders, legal practitioners, members of civil society and experts from around the world to take practical steps towards establishing sustainable and institutionalised systems of legal aid.

The Conference blends expert panel discussions with breakout sessions that enable its participants to work in smaller groups and brainstorm ways to implement reforms in their unique country contexts. 

"With support of USAID and other donors, Georgia's Legal Aid Service is a great illustration of how commitment and capacity come together to move country towards self-reliance"- said  Peter Wiebler USAID Caucasus Mission Director  at the conference. 

The third International Legal Aid Conference, ILAC 2018, will conclude with the adoption of a declaration in which the participant countries will commit to improving access to legal aid, expanding their national legal aid networks and deepening international cooperation.

About the third International Legal Aid Conference, ILAC 2018

ILAC 2018 is organised by the Parliament of Georgia and Legal Aid Service, together with the International Legal Foundation (ILF), Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). The conference is supported by the European Union (EU), Council of Europe (CoE), Open Society Georgia Foundation (OSGF), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and East-West Management Institute (EWMI) through their project “Promoting Rule of Law in Georgia” (EWMI/PROLoG).

Last updated: November 13, 2018

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