UNODC publishes Handbook on Ensuring Quality of Legal Aid Services in Criminal Justice Processes in Russian

The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime published the Russian version of its “Handbook on Ensuring Quality of Legal Aid Services in Criminal Justice Processes Practical Guidance and Promising Practices”.

The Handbook, initially published in English in 2019, is intended as a practical guide for policymakers and practitioners (lawyers, judges, prosecutors, police officers, detention officers, civil society actors and others) for planning and implementing measures to ensure, monitor and constantly improve the quality of legal aid services. It provides an overview of the relevant international and regional standards on the right to legal aid and lists some of the key provisions on quality of legal aid services within a fair, humane and efficient criminal justice system.

The handbook provides practical guidance on measures to establish quality legal aid services within the national legal aid system, in line with Principle 2 of the UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems. These measures include defining what quality should entail, appointing a national body to monitor legal aid quality, and then adopting more concrete measures such as working conditions and procedures to facilitate the work of legal aid providers. Recommendations are given to introduce measures to cater for the needs of special groups of beneficiaries such as child-friendly and gender-sensitive measures. Finally, it discusses the importance of data collection to ensure monitoring and on-going improvement of quality of services in the system.

Earlier this year the Handbook was presented to national stakeholders in Uzbekistan during a roundtable on criminal justice reform as a practical tool with promising practices that Uzbekistan could build on in developing its legal aid system. This feeds into achieving Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the reduction of excessive pre-trial detention under target 16.3.

Improving the country's criminal legislation to ensure law and order, protect human rights and freedoms, and protect the interests of society and the state is one of the priorities of Uzbekistan in the framework of large-scale judicial and legal reforms in the country.

UNODC supports the government of Uzbekistan in implementing criminal justice reform through various capacity-building activities for national agencies, as well as expert advice supported by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL).


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