Justice Matters

JUSTICE MATTERS
At the sessions discussing Legal Aid
Justice Matters [ National Center for State Courts]

Justice Matters is a three-year activity to improve access to justice for all, inclusive of disadvantaged and marginalized groups, by strengthening the institutions, actors, and processes for providing legal aid services and legal information. Through this activity, USAID aims to:

Strengthening the Capacity of Kosovo's Legal Aid System 

The Justice Matters activity will focus on systems to strengthen the capacity of the Kosovo’s legal aid system in a manner that is holistic and sustainable. Our interventions will improve financial management, develop the institutional capacity of the Legal Aid Council and Free Legal Aid Agency (FLAA), enable provider accreditation and mobilization, and facilitate inter-institutional coordination. 

Enhance the Quality and Responsivness of Legal Aid Service 

The Justice Matters activity will focus on the supply of legal aid services to enhance their availability, quality, and responsiveness to the justice needs of communities. Our interventions will develop a coordinated needs assessment methodology; integrate legal aid work into law school curriculum through live clinics; increase access to services across Kosovo; and increase the professionalism of legal aid practitioners. The quantity and quality of legal aid will increase, connecting a network of providers and law students to expand FLAA reach and tailoring services to meet the specific needs of communities, including women, minorities, and other vulnerable groups. 

Strengthen Legal Literacy and Citizens Empowerment 

Activity will focus on increasing informed demand for legal aid services by improving legal literacy and empowering citizens, especially vulnerable groups. Interventions will provide actionable legal information to communities and vulnerable groups, leveraging existing informational platforms and activating a network of civil society organizations (CSOs), grassroots organizations, and young people to deliver information. In addition, interventions will support coalition building to conduct effective budget advocacy on behalf of the legal aid system. Citizens will have access to concrete information on their legal rights enabling them to seek enforcement of those rights in the justice system and CSOs will coalesce to support advocacy for increase resources for the legal aid system.

EXPECTED RESULTS 

  • FLAA budget increased and resources effectively managed.
  • The Council increasingly fulfills its mandate set forth in article 13 of the Law on Free Legal Aid.
  • Criteria established for CSOs to provide authorized legal services.
  • Mechanism for CSO accreditation established and CSOs accredited to provide legal aid according to Law on Free Legal Aid.
  • Incentives in legal aid system created to increase the interest of lawyers to take on legal aid cases.
  • FLAA plays a leading role in effectively managing the legal aid coordination mechanism with MOJ and relevant stakeholders.
  • Legal Aid needs are identified in vulnerable communities.
  • Legal Aid work integrated into law school core curriculum to provide practical skills training opportunities through clinical legal education and internships.
  • Legal Aid services deployed to communities where there is no legal aid office.
  • Legal Aid offices around Kosovo fully operational and receiving clients.
  • Professional standards for legal aid practitioners established and maintained.
  • Vulnerable communities aware of their legal rights and legal services provisions.
  • Tools developed to allow the population to locate legal aid resources in their communities, including those legal aid services tailored to their communities.
  • Rights Advocacy Networks improve legal literacy and empowerment of their members.
  • CSO legal aid providers support KBA and FLAA to advocate for increased budgetary resources.

 

Project Duration:     June 2018 – June 2021  

Partner:                        National Center for State Courts [ NCSC] .

Contact:                       Flaka Xhelili Zekaj

Last updated: October 15, 2018

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