Mauritania improves access to legal aid

The activities underlying this result were funded by Austria

In September 2015, Mauritania adopted a new and improved law on legal aid, allowing better access to justice for its citizens. UNODC provided support to the Mauritanian authorities during the development of this legislation, ensuring that the law aligns with UN standards and norms for legal aid.

Mauritanians with limited financial resources can now apply for legal aid. Legal aid is fundamental in making legal systems fairer and ensuring the right to equality before the law and to a fair trial. In this way, legal aid helps improve the efficiency of the criminal justice system. Access to legal aid also prevents accused persons from staying lengthy periods in pre-trial detention and prisoners from being forgotten in overcrowded facilities.


UNODC develops legal aid tools to assist States in the implementation of the UN standards and norms. They include a variety of handbooks, training curriculums, model laws and workshops which provide guidance to United Nations agencies, governments and individuals at each stage of criminal justice reform.

Further information:

Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems in Africa: Survey Report

UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel

UNODC Contribution to the UN Integrated Strategy for the Sahel