The first civil justice centre in Kharkiv region starts its work officially
On January 18, 2018, the First civil justice centre in Kharkiv region was opened in Chuguiv. It was created on the basis of the Chuguiv office of the Legal Development Network under the NGO “Chuguiv human rights group”.
The event was attended by representatives of the involved parties (local authorities and self-government), the public and the media.
At the beginning of the event, Roman Lykhachov, the head of the centre, informed the audience about the history of its creation, the goals and objectives set by its team. After that, together with the deputy chief of the Chuguiv local centre for provision of secondary legal aid Sergii Rogozin, he cut the festive ribbon, which symbolized the official opening of the centre.
According to Roman Lykhachov, the idea ofcreating a centre implies facilitating access for people to justice, administrative and social services, legal assistance and alternative dispute resolution.
The main goals and tasks of the centre are to:
- increase public confidence in the courts, executive bodies, local governments and police;
- establish interaction between the entities providing services;
- facilitate people’s access to justice, administrative and social services;
- unload courts and police from undue cases;
- improve access for all citizens, including vulnerable groups, to justice, to legal assistance and alternative dispute resolution;
- raise citizens’ awareness of the judiciary system, judicial reform, legal aid and the benefits of using alternative dispute resolution methods;
- improve the efficiency of the system of providing legal aid free of charge;
- reduce social tension in the community
Anton Bychenko, Ivan Mudrachenko, coordinators of the centre, presented a list of services provided by the centre to the participants of the event. They consist of four blocks, namely:
- Free legal aid:
- providing primary legal aid;
- informing citizens on available legal aid possibilities;
- providing contacts of translators to foreign citizens;
- transferringclients to other state and non-state legal aid providers;
- ensuring practice for law students in legal aid provision based on the principle of a legal clinic;
- developing a program for public education and raising citizens’ awareness of the rights, legal aid, the functioning of the justice sector;
- training paralegals and further supporting their work
- Alternative dispute resolution:
- mediator training;
- training facilitators in solving disputes in the community;
- dialogue on restorative justice;
- resolving family disputes, including through professional counseling for parents and children;
- coordination of school mediation services (school mediation, prevention of child and adolescent crime, restorative justice);
- supporting dialogue at community level to resolve local conflicts and disputes.
- Psychological support:
- psychological support for victims of crime and domestic violence;
- re-socialization programs for offenders.
- Solving community problems:
- advice on the administrative services provided by the centres for administrative services provision;
- assisting citizens in communicating with executive authorities and local self-government in solving community problems;
- dialogue platforms with the participation of representatives of the police, the court, local government bodies for the joint decision of the community problems;
- programs for the socialization of persons having served the sentence, drug addicts, troubled adolescents and youth;
- analysis of community problems, providing recommendations for their solution.
The Centre lawyers Margaryta Lykhachova and Svitlana Kuzheleva presented basic services on the example of the first successful cases.
At the end of the meeting, all interested people were able to ask their questions and express their wishes regarding the activities of the center.
One of the first clients of the Centre, Vira Volkova, said: “I am very pleased that such a centre is operating in Chuguiv. Due to its work, ordinary citizens, in addition to being able to receive legal aid, learn more about the work of the court, the police and other organizations that provide services. Personally, the staff of the centre explained the procedure for obtaining the service in an accessible way, which made me confident in my communication with officials.”
The event was held within the framework of the project “The first civil justice centre in Kharkiv region”, which is being implemented by the Legal Development Network with the support of American people through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) within the framework of the New Justice Program.
Author: Vitaliy Babyka, member of the LDN Board, expert of the project “The First civil justice Centre for in Kharkiv Region”
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