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Current issues and problems in the application of the Law on Legal Aid

IMG_0066On December 6 and 7 the seminar on the topic of ‘’The current issues and problems in the application of the Law on Legal Aid'' was held in Bar, organized in cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro, the Judicial Training Center of Montenegro, the UNDP and the OSCE Mission to Montenegro.

On the first day of the seminar the discussion was aimed at dilemmas and problems in the implementation of the Law on Legal Aid in Montenegro, which has been implemented since January 2012. The main issues were related to the reasons for refusal of provision of legal aid as well as identification of persons who are entitled to this kind of legal assistance. Also, there was discussion about shortening the process for approving applications for legal aid, where it is necessary to improve communication between the institutions that cooperate with authorities for legal aid in this process, primarily through intensive use of all forms of electronic communication.

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Uspješne priče

Ako se može prihvatiti da je svrha zakona da ograniči ili spriječi nepravdu i sukobe, slijedi da svi pojedinci koji žive u društvima koja se pretplate na vladavinu prava moraju imati ista prava u skladu sa zakonom. Uspostavljanje jednakih prava je jednostavan proces, ali čuvanje i obezbeđivanje tih prava je mnogo teži zadatak. Pravda za sve postaje više san, a manje realnost u mnogim djelovima svijeta, u kojem dosta toga i ima i nema.

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As a middle-aged housewife and mother of two in Montenegro, was divorced and on her own. For three years, she received no support from her ex-husband and lacked the means to raise her children. But through a new legal aid program Montenegro rolled out in 2011, she was able to access legal aid, and sue for and eventually obtain the alimony she was due.

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The first Legal aid office in Montenegro

kancelarija_za_besplatnu_pravnu_pomocThe first Legal aid office in Montenegro was established in the Basic Court in Podgorica, November 25, 2011, with the support from the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Governments of the Kingdom of Norway and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

By adopting the Law on Legal Aid, whose implementation started as of January 2012, and opening the first legal aid office, Montenegro joined the club of the countries that take care of the most vulnerable groups of the society, respecting the rule of law and equal access to justice for all.

DSC_7336Legal_Aid_MontenegroMore than a year since the establishment of the office in Podgorica was marked by over 200 registered applications for legal aid. In order to provide the best possible legal protection for the most vulnerable groups, the relevant institutions are putting day to day efforts to improve this system. Thus, in the cooperation between the Ministry of Justice of Montenegro and UNDP, and with the help of numerous donors, legal aid offices in all 15 Basic Courts in Montenegro will be fully equipped by the end of 2013, while effective implementation of the Law on Legal Aid is ensured through the monitoring of non-governmental organizations.