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Legal Aid

 

The poor face multiple obstacles to legal and judicial services. As a basic public service, citizens must have access to conflict resolution and rule enforcement mechanisms. The most common approach to improve access is to introduce subsidized legal services for criminal defendants and for family, land, and civil matters. Successful legal services have reduced the incidence of due process violations, lowered the level of pre-trial detention, reduced case resolution times and contributed to favorable judgments for clients. Certain World Bank projects have targeted legal aid funding specifically at poor women and their children, who face particularly high obstacles to legal and judicial services. Successful legal aid services for poor women have been shown to increase the probability of obtaining favorable judgments in child support cases, increase the chance of actually obtaining child support payments, and decrease the probability of severe physical violence from ex-spouses or -partners.


Resources

International Legal Aid Services

International Legal Assistance Consortium

The purpose of ILAC is to facilitate and assist domestic and international efforts in post-conflict and transition situations.

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Lawyers Collective HIV/AIDS Unit


The Lawyers Collective has, with the support of the European Commission, instituted and HIV/AIDS Unit to provide legal aid and allied services for people affected by HIV/AIDS.

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Pine Tree Legal Assistance

Pine Tree Legal Assistance maintains links to websites providing information about legal aid and legal services for the poor around the world.

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Australia

Legal Aid - Western Australia

Contains general information about the law as it applies in Western Australia.

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Canada

Legal Services Society

Provides legal aid and legal education for British Columbia.

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Cambodia

Cambodian Defenders Project

Information on the background of the project and legal aid in Cambodia as well as access to Cambodian laws. Partially under construction.

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Legal Aid of Cambodia

Information on the different legal aid offices throughout Cambodia, as well as general information on legal aid in Cambodia and internship possibilities.

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India

National Legal Services Authority

Information on India’s legal aid system, including history, rules, statistical data, and committee membership.

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New Zealand

New Zealand Legal Services Agency

Detailed information and full text on-line availability of resources related to the New Zealand legal aid system.

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Singapore

Ministry of Law - Legal Aid

Through the Legal Aid Bureau, the Ministry of Law in Singapore, ensures that individuals of limited financial means will still have access to justice.

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United Kingdom

Bar pro bono Unit

The Unit was established to provide free legal advice and representation in deserving cases where public funding is not available or where the applicant is unable to afford legal assistance.

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Legal Action Group

Legal Action Group is a national independent charity which campaigns for equal access to justice for all members of society.

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Legal Services Commission

The Legal Services Commission is an executive non-departmental public body created under the Access to Justice Act 1999 to replace the Legal Aid Board. It is responsible for the development and administration of the Community Legal Service and the Criminal Defence Service.

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Legal Services Research Centre

Overview of the Centre’s projects in civil and criminal justice, access to its publications, and information on its conferences. The Centre informs legal aid policy and the implementation of reform.

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United States

Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP)

CLASP is a national nonprofit organization with expertise in both law and policy for the poor. Through education, policy research and advocacy, CLASP seeks economic security and secures access to the justice system.

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Legal Services Corporation

Detailed information on this private, nonprofit corporation established by the US Congress to provide legal assistance to help poor Americans access the civil judicial system.

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The Law School Consortium

The Law School Consortium Project, launched by four law schools in 1997, seeks to increase the availability of quality legal services for moderate-income individuals and communities.

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National Center for Youth Law

National Center for Youth Law is a private, non-profit law office serving the legal needs of children and their families.

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National Center on Poverty Law

The National Center on Poverty Law (NCPL) is a legal and policy research, communications, and advocacy organization that provides national leadership in identifying, developing, and supporting creative and collaborative approaches to achieve social and economic justice for low-income people.

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