Free Legal Aid Available in Bosnia-Podrinje Canton

12 Nov 2013

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Final steps towards provision of free legal aid services

Free Legal Aid Agency for Bosnia-Podrinje Canton was open in Goražde, on November 12, 2013  within the UNDP project "Access to Justice: Supporting the Rule of Law and Transitional Justice".

“For the first time, free legal aid services will be available to the most vulnerable citizens of BP Canton. The office will begin its operations beginning of 2014 thanks to joint efforts of the Cantonal Government, the Cantonal Ministry of Justice and UNDP within its Rule of Law programme. Furthermore, UNDP will provide additional support to the Agency through trainings and connection to an electronic database system and a web site” said Amela Ćosović-Medić, UNDP Justice and Security Sector Coordinator.

The Government of Bosnia-Podrinje Canton provided space for the establishment of the Agency and UNDP has provided IT and communication equipment, a database for processing cases and a website of the Agency are expected to be established soon. The total investment amounts to around 100,000 BAM and was financed by UNDP Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR).

Admir Pozderović, the Minister of Justice of the Bosnia-Podrinje Canton stated that Agency is established in accordance with the Law on Free Legal Aid of Bosnia-Podrinje Canton to ensure free legal aid access and human rights protection of about 35% of the Canton’s population - marginalized and vulnerable population groups, including poor citizens, children without parental care, civil victims, persons with disabilities, victims of domestic violence and other vulnerable categories.

The Cantonal Free Legal Aid Agency is new member of the Network of the Free Legal Aid Providers. After the completion of the procedures for the election of the director and employees, the Agency is expected to be fully operational in early 2014.