On Wednesday, July 1, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk has participated in the opening ceremony of the first Centre for free secondary legal aid in Kyiv.
He stated that starting from today 100 centers for free legal aid will be operating all over Ukraine. They will provide legal services, particularly to families with low income, orphaned children and their caregivers, ATO members, bereaved families and veterans.
Prime Minister stated that the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine allocated approximately 300 million UAH for this project.
According to him, up until today these centers have provided aid only in criminal cases, but from now on citizens will be able to receive legal services in civil and administrative cases.
The Prime Minister emphasized the importance of this project: “People should have the right to defense and it is for the Government to ensure these rights. The Government is the one, who is paying for services of an attorney, even if this attorney is in litigation with the Government – with Central Government, local government or state administration bodies”.
He also emphasized that these centers will help people “who require justice in Ukrainian courts, in their struggle against abuse of power, in their struggle for their rights and justice, which should be the main idea for the Ukrainian society”.
“A person should know that its guarantees are not only on paper, but they are also ensured by free legal aid, when qualified attorneys and lawyers help a person with low income, a person who previously didn’t have any access to justice, to protect its rights whether it is in court or any other state bodies”.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk expressed gratitude to the Canadian Government. According to the 4-year project “Affordable and high quality legal assistance in Ukraine” the Canadian Government allocated 9 million Canadian dollars “as an additional assistance in for the free legal aid program to work”.
The opening ceremony has been also attended by the Minister of Justice of Ukraine Pavlo Petrenko and the Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of Canada to Ukraine Roman Vashchuk.