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Global Study on Legal Aid

Feb 6, 2017

The United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime undertook the Global Study on Legal Aid to establish a baseline understanding of how the right to legal aid in civil, criminal and administrative cases has been defined and addressed around the world. The Global Study is the international community’s first attempt to collect data on and present a comprehensive overview of the state of legal aid globally. It provides valuable insights on a number of common priorities faced by countries for enhancing people’s access to effective legal aid services.

The Global Study on Legal Aid is comprised of three publications: (i) the Global Report, which presents data, findings and recommendations on access and provision of legal aid services around the world; (ii) Case Studies (forthcoming), which provide in-depth analysis of the state of legal aid delivery in 8 countries; and (iii) Country Profiles, which contain information on various aspects of legal aid delivery in 49 countries.

The data and findings of the Global Study are based on survey responses from UN Member States and independent national experts in 106 countries—representing more than half (53%) of the world’s countries—across all regions of the world and development contexts. The findings and recommendations from the Global Study can assist legislators, policymakers, and other national and international stakeholders working in the area of access to legal aid by identifying priorities for technical assistance and making evidence-based recommendations on how to strengthen the provision of legal aid services as a means to empower people to seek out justice and protect their rights.


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