Centre for Legal Empowerment in Albania
A group of lawyers and paralegals, supported by the Open Society Foundation for Albania and the Swiss-funded project ‘LevizAlbania’, engaged themselves on a new project called “Legal Clinics”. The project, which took part from 2017 to 2021 was designed as an intervention that had two-fold priorities:
i) Develop the litigation capacity of the legal clinics, and
ii) Provide free legal aid to the most vulnerable and marginalized citizens and communities.
Throughout this period, the Legal Clinics followed 23 strategic/collective cases related to some of the most significant environmental issues, they provided primary legal assistance to 4,123 citizens and secondary legal assistance to 153 citizens.
With the platform www.juristionline.al , that is the only e-government service to provide free legal aid with the cooperation of Ministry of Justice and the Directorate of Free Legal Aid as part of the E-Albania platform, lawyers responded to the needs and issues stemming from 3,400 requests filed by citizens.
Through the provision of primary and secondary legal assistance and through the pursuit of strategic litigation issues, the Legal Clinic’s services have influenced not only on the support of citizens and communities for their problems, but also in advocating near institutions for similar practices to be followed in compliance with the applicable legal framework.
Our work in the field indicated that legal empowerment is largely misunderstood as legal aid and there are few examples in the civil society sector that fully represent the concept. We believe that investing in legal empowerment is not only a paradigm shift, but it requires meaningful adjustment of the methodology of work, organizational structure, procedures, and type of interaction with communities.
Nowadays, the continuation of the mission launched four years ago by lawyers and paralegals, transformed the establishment of the “Centre for Legal Empowerment” continuing the work of this successful mechanism.
CLE is a community based legal center by including and capacitating paralegals and lawyers in their core activities, delivering effective legal education activities at the community level, and sustaining community active participation in advocacy and legal processes, including strategic litigation cases.
In the core of our activities, we assume that if legal processes are shaped by the legal empowerment approach, which allows and sustains meaningful participation of communities or affected citizens in the process, the potential to influence the behavior of public institutions vis-à-vis vulnerable communities will be stronger while positive enduring change is more possible to happen.
CLE is focused on delivering primary and secondary free legal education and aid services, identifying, and pursuing cases affecting many citizens and that may bring changes in strategic level and bring about change at the policy level that will guarantee the protection of social-economic rights.
With the support of fellow organizations, lawyers, and participation in different activities we aim to reach just for everyone and change justice mechanisms. Activities like, World Justice Forum 2022 in Hauge, organized by the World Justice Project that aims to influence the guarantee of the right to more security, freedom, and justice for citizens, allowed our representatives to gain and share knowledge on one same goal.
You can follow our time at this activity in the following links:
With a small but enthusiastic team we work daily to accomplish each task and problem we face here at CLE. And with the support of 20 lawyers, registered in our platform www.juristionline.al we work on answering every question and solving every problem addressed to us by the citizens.
Not forgetting the importance of education, we encourage and organize round tables, activities, seminars, discussions, meetings, collaborations as well as several studies that are always published online for the open public. Informational spots, videos, posts and different live streams are another way to reach our audience in a simpler and more pleasant way.
Here is a list of video works you can follow:
Through the hyperlinks in this text, you can see the small but meaningful work done by our team in the years that we have operated and will also be able to follow our future publications.
As we have done to this day, we will continue our goal and invite professionals to join us as well and citizens in using our platform and services for their needs.
Attorney at Law/Arbitrator
Centre for Legal Empowerment
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