The team participating in the Kyiv Legal Empowerment Practical Program from North Macedonia has completed its plan to create a mobile paralegal office. What will it be like and when it starts working?
In North Macedonia, it is extremely difficult to provide legal assistance to residents of outlying villages (above all, we are talking about the municipalities of Prilep, Krivogaštani and Dolneni). In some cases, specialists have to travel hundreds of kilometers off-road several times a day. Telephone and online services existing in the country facilitate their work, however, all the issues are not solved, since a number of cases of citizens require a more thorough approach, and it is impossible to see into a matter remotely. What Is To Be Done? The team from North Macedonia formulated the answer to this question when taking a course of design thinking of the Kyiv Legal Empowerment Practical Program together with the teams from Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Ukraine and Poland.
Recently, the team, with the support of Yevhen Poltenko, the curator from the School, executive director of the Legal Development Network, completed the action plan based on a prototype developed during KyivLEPP. Their idea is that remote settlements are to be advised by multidisciplinary teams that will work in a mobile office: lawyers, paralegals, psychologists, social counselors. Such an office will be located in a vehicle with the necessary equipment or in premises rented in different villages on a certain day of the week.
The plan, presented by Vesna Shapkoski, the member of the North Macedonia team, executive director of the Association of Legal Education and Transparency “LET STATION” STANICA PET, means that due to this decision, at least 500 residents of the municipalities of Prilep, Krivogaštani and Dolneni are to receive assistance annually. KyivLEPP2020 graduates want to create a mobile office for paralegal aid (MORA) in 11 months of 2021: they will start to study the legal needs of residents of three municipalities, form the teams according to the results of the study, conclude the schedules for the offices in 3 regions so that the teams would be able to start their work in test mode. All cases will be entered into a national database that is already used by LET STATION and other organizations. In December, KyivLEPP team will re-interview local residents to summarize the work of the MORA pilot project.
The program is implemented by the Ukrainian School of Practical Knowledge on Access to Justice through the joint creation of colleagues from the Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation, the Coordination Center for Legal Aid Provision, the Legal Development Network, the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, the Law Club PRAVOKATOR. Kyiv and with the expert and financial support of the Human Rights and Justice Program of the International Renaissance Foundation.