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Haiti - Justice : Launch of the Phase II of Free legal assistance
12/05/2014 10:58:04

Haiti - Justice : Launch of the Phase II of Free legal assistance
Thursday, May 8th, the Bar Association of Port-au-Prince in the presence of Jean Renel Sanon, Minister of Justice, Ms. Sandra Honoré, the Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations and Me Carlos Hercules, Dean of the Bar of Port-au-Prince, has proceeded the launch of the Phase II of Legal Assistance Office (BAL), a project funded to the tune of 807.870 U.S. dollars by the Section of Community Violence Reduction (CVR) of the Minustah.

Recall that the BAL have as objectives : to provide free legal assistance to individuals in need, giving priority to persons in custody; reduce the rate of prolonged pretrial detention; reduce violence in disadvantaged neighborhoods and work to install the rule of law in Haiti.

This Phase II will allow the addition of an additional office to the 4 existing and double the number of lawyers, from 30 to 60. These 5 offices are distributed in various locations: Bel-Air, in the premises of the Brazilian NGO Viva Rio (X1), to the Prosecutor of Port-au-Prince (X2), in Petionville (X1) and Carrefour (X1).

In addition, Sandra Honoré stated that "This second phase is reinforced by a unit of legal assistance, which will be devoted specifically to women and minors," recalling that the Phase I (launched January 31, 2013) "was a success not only for the different actors involved, but especially for the the poorest litigants, who did not have the ability to pay a lawyer." With an initial staff of 30 lawyers in the first four offices, "6.463 people, including 269 minors of both sexes and 914 women were assisted during the first phase of BAL. And 2,851 people whose 425 women and 97 minors have regained their freedom."

The services offered to disadvantaged litigants who are violating the law are free recalled the Minister of Justice "The beneficiaries of the legal services are exempt from fiscal fees [...] Copies of decisions are sent free of charge."

The Minustah, with the support of the Ministry of Justice and Public Safety has established a committee to develop development strategies in order to ensure sustainability and ownership of the project by the Haitian state.

TB/ HaitiLibre

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