A New Centre providing Primary Free Legal Aid Service opens in Elbasan

UNDP Albania

Posted July 15, 2022
A New Centre providing Primary Free Legal Aid Service opens in Elbasan

The Free Legal Aid Directorate at the Ministry of Justice in partnership with the District Court of Elbasan and supported by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Austrian Development Cooperation inaugurated today a new Centre of Primary Free Legal Aid Service in Elbasan District Court premises. The Center will offer primary free legal aid and will work to ensure that vulnerable categories in Elbasan have unhindered and equal access to legal advice, information, and representation.

The event was attended by the Deputy Minister of Justice, the Ambassador of Austria in Tirana, the Resident Representative of UNDP in Albania, and the Chair of the District Court of Elbasan. Present at the event were also representatives from national and local public institutions, together with free legal aid officials and members of civil society organizations.

The Deputy Minister of Justice, the Austrian Ambassador, Christian Steiner and the Resident Representative of UNDP in Albania, Monica Merino emphasized the importance of strong inter-agency cooperation and a comprehensive legal framework that guarantees unhindered free legal aid as an essential public service and fundamental right, which strengthens the rule of law and guarantees fundamental human rights enforcement in Albania.

Expanding free legal aid service to the people that need it most, has grown in importance especially considering the increasingly high demand for this service in the past three years. 

During the period January 2021 – June 2022, eight Free Legal Aid Centers supported by UNDP Albania in Durres, Fier, Lezha, Dibra, Shkodra, Pogradec, Vlora, and Gjirokastra provided free legal aid services to 3 356 citizens in need, of whom 1714 women and 1642 men. 

Free Legal Aid Service Center in Elbasan is the ninth Centre opened with UNDP Albania’s support in the context of the “Expanding Free Legal Aid Services to women and men in Albania” (EFLAS) Project funded by the Austrian Development Agency and implemented by UNDP Albania in cooperation with Free Legal Aid Directorate at the Ministry of Justice