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EU legal standards of performance

The Law Institute of Lithuania as the main coordinator of the project together with partners from Lithuania, Germany and the Netherlands are implementing the project "Improving the quality of legal aid: general standards for different countries”.

The aim of the project is to create minimal standards for legal aid and to develop compliance control methods, suitable for application in all European Union (EU) countries. In order to improve the quality of legal services, the development of common standards for legal aid, and quality assurance, increasing the legal assistance of politicians, administrators and service providers the capacity to provide high quality legal assistance.

So far, the EU did not have any attempts to harmonize the legal aid systems in EU member countries. Different rules to legal aid may interfere with the development of minimum EU standards on access to a lawyer and other procedural rights of EU criminal justice. The right to legal aid is one of the fundamental human rights in ensuring effective access to justice and a fair trial for all persons, including those who cannot afford legal representation or court fees.

The project "Improving the quality of legal aid: general standards for different countries" is carried out by a detailed assessment and comparison of three different legal aid schemes in the partner countries. In particular, legal aid is being assessed by interested partners' (beneficiaries, administrators, providers, criminal justice system participants) needs and expectations. Also, there will be a comprehensive analysis of the best international practice. This in turn will allow the creation of recommendations for policy makers on how to improve the quality of legal assistance.

The project will create a training program for legal aid policy-makers, administrators and legal aid to legal aid providers. Trainings will be organized in Lithuania, Germany and the Netherlands.

The project is funded by the European Commission for the duration of 2017.01 - 2019.01. Project partners: Frankfurt J. W. Goethe University, the Dutch Legal Aid Board, Lithuanian Bar Association, Lithuania's State-Guaranteed Legal Aid Service.