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Access to justice of all categories of society, especially the most vulnerable population, is one of the basic principles for the assessment of inclusivity and democracy of equal opportunity societies and is considered an essential element of development, human rights, democracy and the rule of law.

The trainings organized in Smederevo and Kruševac, attended by over 120 authorized personnel for deciding on applications for granting free legal aid, as well as persons employed in budget and finance departments from several cities and municipalities of Serbia, the process of raising the capacity of the entire system of free legal aid in Serbia in 165 local self-government units, marked the completion of the process.

The Law on Free Legal Aid in the Republic of Serbia was adopted in 2019 with the aim of enabling every person access to justice and legal protection, especially for the most vulnerable citizens. Local self-government units are the basic factor of the free legal aid system, provide legal assistance and support and decide on the award of a free lawyer, notary public or intermediary. Although the system was established at the end of 2019, there are still numerous weaknesses in the implementation of the law and poor information of citizens about the existence of the right to free legal aid, so in parallel with the trainings, the campaign “You have the right!” is being implemented with the aim of raising awareness of citizens.

The trainings are organized by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Public Administration and Local Self-Government and are supported by the “Facility Supporting Strengthening Rule of Law in the Republic of Serbia” (EU FOR FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION AND FOR FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS), funded by the EU and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), whose implementation is in charge of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), with the support of the Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – Jukom.

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