22 Aug 2022 by lbigmr

Third Regional Consultation “Legal aid”

In Madrid, experts spent two days discussing the topic of “legal aid” and ways to implement it effectively and equitably.

From Tue, 21 June 2022  to Wed, 22 June 2022, the third regional consultation took place in Madrid, this time on the topic of “Access to legal aid”.

It is part of the EU-wide consultation series of the project “From law to practice: strengthening procedural rights in police custody (ProRPC)”.  The aim of the project, which is carried out by the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR) and partner organizations from Spain, Romania, Ireland and Belgium is, to strengthen the rights of suspects and accused persons in the early stages of criminal proceedings.

During the consultation, various discussion panels offered criminal justice actors and other experts the opportunity to identify implementation difficulties in their own countries. At the same time, all those present were able to learn from the best practices of other countries in ensuring effective and fair procedural assistance. The various procedural assistance systems of the partner countries were analyzed in a comparative law perspective and the legal policy background was pointed out. The basic problems raised by the participants were the insufficient, independent and sustainable funding as well as the lack of specialization and training of lawyers in the field of legal aid.

After intensive discussions, the experts came to the following conclusions:

  • The training and motivation of lawyers in particular is the key to implementing the law on legal aid.
  • Other actors should be involved in a training process and an awareness campaign in the entire area of criminal procedure law should be implemented.
  • In order to achieve a procedural assistance model that puts the individual at the center, cross-organizational cooperation and an active exchange between various stakeholders, including the attorneyship and the police, is needed.

The launch consultation on the right to information (Vienna, Tue, 5  April 2022– Wed, 6 April 2022), the consultation on the access to a lawyer (Bucharest, Tue, 17 May 2022– Wed, 18 May 2022) and the consultations on legal aid (Madrid, Tue, 21 June 2022 – Wed, 22 June 2022) will be followed by the consultation on audiovisual recordings (Dublin, Mon, 18 July 2022 – Tue 19 July 2022).

a. Legal Aid