Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Legal Basis of Free Legal Aid State System Administration in the Russian Federation

Academic journal article Journal of Sustainable Development

Legal Basis of Free Legal Aid State System Administration in the Russian Federation

Article excerpt


The urgency of the problem under investigation is determined by the fact that at times of the global financial crisis, coupled with the economic slowdown in the Russian Federation, there is a need to improve the management of legal aid state system aimed at improving the social protection of low-income citizens, ensuring their access to justice. The article aims to make recommendations on improving the efficiency of public administration of the state system of free legal aid. The leading approach to the study of this problem is to analyze the experience of organizations of free legal assistance in the Russian Federation (on the example of the Volga Federal District), aimed at identifying the strengths and weaknesses of the system, processing statistical data on applications for its provision and its effectiveness for those who seek it, identifying the contingent of those who applied and determining the effectiveness of the interaction of government institutions and non-governmental organizations in the provision of such assistance. As a result of the research conclusions are drawn about the need to improve the quality level of cooperation between different authorities within the public administration in order to avoid the bureaucratization of procedures for free legal aid, to encourage the mobility of members of the legal state aid, to improve the quality of free legal aid, expanding the list of services provided within it, to actively involve local authorities in the provision of free legal aid as a way of implementing the principle of free and specific access to it. The article may be useful in a practical way for government agencies, local authorities, representatives of the legal community and other participants in the system of free legal aid, as well as for scientific and teaching staff for further research concerning the provision of free legal assistance in accordance with national and international experience.

Keywords: constitutional right on access to justice, a free legal aid, public administration, low-income citizens

1. Introduction

One of the fundamental constitutional guarantees in the system of the legal status of a person is the right to qualified legal assistance, including free legal aid in cases prescribed by law. This right is enshrined and guaranteed by paragraph 1 of Article 48 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. At the federal level, the legal relations are regulated by the Federal Law of 21.11.2011 No 324-FL "On free legal aid in the Russian Federation" (hereinafter - the Federal Law No 324-FL) entered into force on 15.01.2012. This law establishes the basic guarantees of the rights of Russian citizens to receive qualified free legal assistance, organizational and legal basis for the formation of state and non-state systems of free legal assistance and activities for legal awareness and legal education of the population, the sources and methods of funding. This free legal aid is a guarantee of the constitutional principle of equality of rights and freedoms, inter alia before the law, enshrined in Article 19 of the Constitution of the Russian Federation. (Konin, 2013) Therefore, securing the constitutional right to qualified legal assistance free of charge in cases specified by law, the state provides the persons, who do not have sufficient means to pay for it, with equal opportunities to those individuals who can pay for the services of a specialist.

Implementation of the above mentioned constitutional guarantee in the Russian Federation is carried out by governmental and non-governmental organizations, providing legal assistance and support of people -recipients of free legal aid (Vereshchak, 2014). There is no doubt that the free legal aid governmental system is the most stable, secure, and is, consequently, in demand with low-income citizens (Panchenko, 2012). Creating efficient free legal aid system management will largely stipulate for the quality of its implementation, free access of those who need it, strengthening the governmental authority and the population's trust to it. …

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