Bishkek city, April 23, 2019. A working meeting of the Free Legal Aid Сoordination Center (FLA СС) under the KR Ministry of Justice with state agencies and local self-government bodies was held. The main goal of the meeting was to inform representatives of the state agencies and local self-government bodies on the procedure of interaction between the FLA system entities and to discuss the issues related to execution of the KR Government Resolution “On the Procedure of Interaction of the FLA CC with state agencies and local self-government bodies”.
“No matter how many times the judicial system is reformed, we cannot speak about the improvement of this system’s activity without the high-quality state-guaranteed legal aid. At the same time, we cannot guarantee the quality of legal aid without decent salaries paid to lawyers. Our state has taken efforts to solve these problems – last year the rates of lawyers’ remuneration were increased nearly two times”, Akzhol Kalbekov, Director of the FLA CC said during his speech.
According to Jyldyz Ryskulova, Deputy Director of the FLA CC, “Each state agency should have a log for registration of citizens applying for consulting and legal aid. We should work in close cooperation with all state agencies to provide fast and high-quality legal aid to our citizens. We plan to hold campaigns to provide free legal aid jointly with other state agencies. Experience has shown that citizens apply for help on issues under the control of both the Ministry of Justice and other state bodies.”
The participants of the meeting actively asked questions on the procedure of legal aid provision. Majority of the questions were about the procedure of interaction of the entities, payment for lawyers’ services, categories of citizens who would be able to receive free legal aid, and the role of state agencies in this system.
“According to the Law “On State-Guaranteed Legal Aid” a citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic whose monthly income is not more than KGS 8,750 has the right to use free services provided by a lawyer. The income of other family members is not taken into account. Only the income of a specific person who needs legal aid is considered. In addition, any detained citizen of the Kyrgyz Republic, no matter what his or her income is, has the right for lawyer’s free services”, – Akzhol Kalbekov said in response to the questions asked by the participants of the meeting.
He also noted that there were certain standards of the quality of the lawyers’ services: “We used to pay for the lawyer’s services on the basis of a general report submitted by a lawyer. However, this mechanism has been reconsidered under the new laws. Now lawyers have to submit a report at each stage of service provision in compliance with the items stated in the minimum standard. On the basis of this report we determine if the lawyer has fulfilled the minimum standards of provision of the lawyer’s services.”
The meeting was attended by representatives of over 40 state agencies and local self-government bodies.
The working meeting was held under the support of the UNDP and MFA of Finnland project
“Towards sustainable access to justice for legal empowerment in the Kyrgyz Republic”