2843 citizens received free legal aid for the last 8 months

According to the Centers in Chui and Osh oblasts during last 8 months, 2843 people received legal advice. The largest number of issues regarded to family law – 22%, bequests – 19% proprietorship – 9%, land – 8%, employment – 6%.

This became possible due to 5 Centers of Legal Assistance Centre in Chui and Osh oblasts that were created under the Ministry of Justice of KR.

The Ministry of Justice continues establishing of Legal Aid Centers in remote areas of the country, Chui and Osh oblasts in order to provide free legal aid, legal education, raising the level of legal protection of vulnerable groups.

Opening of new centers of free legal aid under the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic was held in Kant and Kara-Balta cities 23 September 2016.

The centers shall provide free legal aid be operated by highly qualified lawyers of the Ministry of Justice and lawyers – participants of the system of state guaranteed legal aid.

The UNDP and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland project “Improving access to justice in the Kyrgyz Republic” is supporting the Ministry of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic in establishing these centers.  

As a result of basic research, access to legal advice and representation is limited due to the lack of qualified lawyers in rural and remote areas of the country. The other main obstacle is the distance from home to the center, where they could receive legal services (from 5 to 18 km). Distance, lack of transport, transport costs represent a significant problem for mothers with young children, people with disabilities and senior citizens.

According to the study, many cannot apply for legal aid because of the high cost of legal services. Attorney services range from 1 501 to 10 000 KGS as a legal representative of more than 25 thousand KGS.

Legal Aid Centers created in order to provide free legal advice, regardless of social status, gender orientation, age or ethnicity.

In the new law on state-guaranteed legal aid which is currently being adopted by the Zhogorku Kenesh in the second reading, there is the introduction of a guaranteed legal aid in civil and administrative cases.

The new law also provides the establishment of a separate – independent structure, which will ensure the provision of state-guaranteed legal assistance. In the future, all the centers of legal aid by the Ministry of Justice will be part of this great structure.

Meri Bekeshova, UNDP project “Widening access to justice in the KR” Communication specialist

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