Legal Aid Service is the legal entity of public law under the Ministry of Corrections and Legal Assistance of Georgia providing legal aid to population. The Service established in July 2007, now operates throughout the whole territory of Georgia.
For this period thousands of persons benefited from LAS lawyers’ service and legal consultations. The demand on Legal Aid Service increases day by day, while in number of cases with participation of public lawyers defendants were acquitted or their sentence was mitigated.
Legal Aid covers the following services:
• Free legal consultations on all legal issues;
• Drafting of legal documents (applications, motions and other);
• Public lawyers’ service in criminal proceeding for accused and convicted;
• Lawyer’s assistance on the cases of non-compulsory psychiatric aid;
• Lawyer’s assistance on administrative offence cases that might be followed by arrest;
Lawyers and consultants from Kakheti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, Imereti-Zestaphoni, Imereti-Kutaisi, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Samegrelo-Zugdidi, Samegrelo-Poti, Adjara and Tbilisi bureaus provide legal consultations and lawyers’ assistance to citizens.
Ozurgeti, Ambrolauri and Akhalkalaki consultation centers offer to citizens free legal consultations and assists them in can drafting legal documents. Apart from the bureaus and consultation centers, one more legal aid model is applied in LAS system, it is Contracted Public Lawyers’ Register, in the frames of which lawyers employed in private sector are involved in criminal cases on the basis of budgetary reimbursement.
Any person can receive free legal consultations in LAS offices, while court representation is accessible to all accused and convicted persons whose family member is registered in the “unified data base of socially vulnerable families” and its rating score comprised 70,000 or less, as well as for certain category of persons 100,000 scores and less.
The MCLA continues Legal Aid Reform successfully. The main directions of LAS development were defined by the Criminal Justice Reform Strategy. The Reform Strategy that covers the period of 2009-2013 sets the following goals: increased access on legal aid, high quality of legal aid, public awareness raising and promotion of independence and transparency of the Service. The MCLA actively cooperates with UNDP, EU and other donor organizations for attaining the goals.