Support to Accessible Justice for Women and Men in Albania
The overall goal of the project is to establish solid foundations for a new Free Legal Aid (FLA) system in Albania.
The project works towards the following outcomes:
1: Legal aid management institutions and service providers have the capacity to implement the FLA legislation;
2: The FLA Department in the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) has developed core capacities for setting up and piloting a FLA quality monitoring scheme;
3: Network established, and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) successfully capacitated to deliver services in 12 selected areas
4: Legal aid management institutions and service providers have the capacity to respond according to international standards to gender based discrimination and needs of the clients.
Target group / Beneficiaries
The project will benefit 8770 Roma and Egyptians, victims of gender based and domestic violence, persons with disabilities as well as vulnerable youth and elderly throughout the project duration (. In addition, target groups include the MoJ’s new FLA directory, FLA providers (such as specialized NGOs and grass root organizations), junior lawyers and vulnerable citizens.
United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Albania implements the project with its main local project partner, Albanias Ministry of Justice (MoJ). Moreover, project partners include NGO providing FLA, district courts, local government units (LGUs), local pro-bono offices, university legal clinics, the commissioner for protection from discrimination (CPD) and people’s advocate (PA), including their local offices, the national chamber of lawyers and their local offices, the European Assistance Mission to the Albanian Justice System (EURALIUS) and the Open Society Foundation in Albania (OSFA).
FLA centers will be established in 12 district courts geographical areas such as in Durres, Fier, Lezhe, Berat, Korce, Sarande, Pogradec and Kavaja among others.
• Assistance to FLA Department in MoJ for setting up and piloting a FLA quality monitoring scheme
• Assistance to key service providers (NGOs, government agencies) in setting up primary FLA centers and servicing marginalized groups
• Management and key staff of new FLA centers equipped with knowledge and tools in regulatory and practical aspects
• Setting up primary and secondary FLA centers in collaboration with national and local service providers in 4 new areas and 8 existing ones
• Equip vulnerable citizens with legal knowledge on their rights and protecting mechanisms
• Setting up a Network of specialized NGOs in 12 areas – 8 existing and 4 new
• Institutional and capacity support provided to NGOs, grass root organizations and/or local offices of young certified lawyers at local communities
• Equality bodies supported in reaching out to vulnerable individuals
• Local state and non-state specialized support structures empowered with skills and specialized services to women clients’ needs and sensitive on gender-based discrimination of vulnerable women accessing justice.
Governance reforms are at the heart of the EU accession process and have been prioritized as key to addressing Albania’s socio-economic challenges. Therefore, major investments have been made by the Government of Albania (GoA) in reforming the public administration and judiciary, and in efforts to reduce corruption, strengthen the rule of law, and rationalize relations between central and sub-national state bodies. Delivery of quality and inclusive public services, including at local level, is one of the many important interventions the GoA is intensively working on. To make Access to Justice (A2J) equitable and inclusive for the most vulnerable individuals, the parliament with support of UNDP Albania and EURALIUS took action aiming at drafting and adopting a new FLA law that ensures equitable and inclusive A2J to the most marginalized individuals. This was followed with the establishment of six FLA centres at district courts piloted with UNDP Albania support in close cooperation with MoJ, District Courts and specialised NGOs.