The Quality and Accessible Legal Aid in Ukraine (QALA) Project is a five-year (2014-2018) technical assistance initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada. It is implemented by the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE) in cooperation with the Coordination Center for Legal Aid Provision (CCLAP) under the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine.
The project is valued at $12.7M with $9.5M representing the Government of Canada’s contribution and $3.2M representing contribution of CBIE and the Ukrainian project partner.
The project’s goal is to contribute to increasing equitable access to justice for all Ukrainians through quality legal aid for women and men across Ukraine, in particular individuals from marginalized groups. Until very recently, all Ukrainian citizens had to pay privately for legal counsel and representation. For many, particularly vulnerable individuals, the cost of legal representation proved prohibitive—inhibiting access and undermining citizens’ confidence and trust in public institutions, which undermined efforts to further such confidence and trust as essential building blocks for effective democracies.
With the enactment of The Law of Ukraine on Free Legal Aid in June 2011, the Government of Ukraine committed to protect the rights of its marginalized citizens.
To support the implementation and sustainable operation of the free legal aid system, CBIE’s technical support focuses on:
- Building human resources and systems capacity – to ensure the proper delivery and monitoring of quality legal aid services;
- Working with targeted civil society organizations – to increase awareness among citizens of the kind of help that is available to them, and
- Building a community engagement fund – so civil society organizations can address the issues confronting vulnerable Ukrainian citizens.