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From January 2014, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine is planning to introduce the quality standards for rendering of free secondary legal aid (FSLA) in criminal proceedings. The preliminary standards were approved by the Board of Advocates of Ukraine, the Information-Analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine informs.
Experts at the Ministry of Justice explain that FSLA standards represent the key features of a legal defense model guaranteed by the state, where a lawyer is independent in choosing strategy or tactics of defense in criminal proceedings to ensure active and reasonable defense of rights, freedoms, and legitimate interests of the client by any means not prohibited by law. The standards are developed in accordance with the best international practice of legal defense in criminal proceedings and fully comply with requirements of Ukrainian legislation.
Adherence to standards will be mandatory for lawyers rendering free secondary legal aid in accordance with terms of contract (agreement) with FSLA center. Other persons engaged in advocacy may use the standards in their work on a voluntary basis.
Experts say most lawyers rendering free legal aid today show higher efficiency and performance, as compared to lawyers rendering legal aid under a contract (at the client’s cost).