Legal Development Network is a union of non-governmental community-based organizations that promote people-centered justice by legal aid, legal education, research, strategic advocacy, and other legal empowerment tools. The union began its formation in 2009 under the name “Network of Centers of Legal Information and Consultation”. At that time, 8 organizations decided to unite their efforts to develop common approaches to providing legal assistance in communities, generalizing typical appeals and standardizing the provision of legal assistance.
Today the Network unites organizations in the majority of Ukrainian regions. These LDN’s member organizations provide the population with basic legal information, actively cooperate with local authorities to solve individual problems and protect public interests, implement alternative dispute resolution, developing territorial communities and local leadership.
Every month, thousands of people address the offices of the Network and through its online services for legal assistance. A wide range of legal issues the lawyers of the Network work with include but are not limited to: land, labor, social and family cases. Much attention is paid to solving the problems of internally displaced persons and veterans.
Our mission is to empower people legally, protect human rights and freedoms, and develop communities.
Since 2019 Legal Development Network has been implementing the Human Rights Friendly Community Program. Program has already covered 17 municipalities from 12 of 24 Ukrainian oblasts (regions). These municipalities have a total population of more than one million people.
On February 24 Legal Development Network launched StandWithUkraine-Program which aims to help people and local communities during the aggression of russian federation.
Yevgen Poltenko, Executive Director of the Legal Development Network mentions:
“After February 24, 2022, many things in Ukraine have lost their relevance. Many plans and projects have been changed, canceled or postponed. However, as earlier, the problems of corruption, bureaucratic arbitrariness, lack of justice and the rule of law remain relevant in our country. The undeclared war only increased these threats to Ukrainian society. Whether Ukraine will exist as an independent state is decided today not only on the battlefield with the Russian aggressor, but also on the front of the struggle for justice for all.
We do not forget that the mission of the Legal Development Network is to improve access to justice. For its part, the provision of legal aid is important and at the same time one of the many components of access to justice. This leaves no prospects for “narrow-profile”. The doors of the union are opened not only for organizations that provide legal aid, but also for those who share our mission and strategic vision, use additional, but not less important, tools in their activities: legal empowerment, legal education, alternative dispute resolution, public monitoring, improvement of governance and public services. Horizontal, decentralized structures are able to oppose authoritarian-vertical structures. Resist and win.
Glory to Ukraine!”