MINELRES: Report on the Second European Forum on Access to Justice

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Thu Aug 11 11:12:02 2005

Original sender: Justice Initiative <info@justiceinitiative.org>

Open Society Justice Initiative  
+1 212–548–0157

Report of the Second European Forum on Access to Justice 

Budapest, August 9, 2005—A full report from the Second European Forum on
Access to Justice, held in Budapest, Hungary, on February 24-26, 2005,
is now available online. Papers from the forum and other background
documents on legal aid reform are also available, including Russian
language materials. 

The Second European Forum on Access to Justice brought together close to
two hundred legal professionals, rights advocates, representatives of
international institutions, and government officials from 40 countries
to discuss strategies for improving access to justice in Europe and
beyond. The event was organized by the Open Society Justice Initiative
and the Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) with the financial support
of the European Union, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Institute,
and “Safety, Security, and Access to Justice in the Balkans.” 

The papers and reports presented at the forum reflect a range of
regional and country-specific efforts to expand access to justice for
the indigent.. They include discussions of ongoing legal aid reforms in
Europe and beyond, developments in international legal aid standards,
and civil society and government initiatives to put these standards into
practice. Updates on legal aid developments in ten European countries
since a first Europe-wide forum, held in December 2002, are also
available. The documents include examples of legal aid legislation and
the results of empirical research into various legal aid systems. The
report recounts the main themes discussed at the forum, and summarizes
the key debates. 

The Preliminary Report and Materials of the Second European Forum on
Access to Justice may be accessed on the Justice Initiative website at
the following addresses:

http://www.justiceinitiative.org/activities/ncjr/atj/forum (English) 

The same materials are on the PILI website at this address: 

http://www.pili.org/2005r/content/view/186/53/ (English and Russian). 

Full 2002 Access to Justice Country Reports from ten former EU accession
countries are also available at www.pili.org. The papers and background
documents from the Second European Forum are made available “as is” for
those interested in legal aid reform. They have not been edited and do
not necessarily represent the views of the Justice Initiative or PILI.

For information on the forum or related requests, please contact:
Nadejda Hriptievschi: nhriptievschi@osi.hu, tel: + 36 1 327 3102, ext.
Atanas Politov: apolitov@pili.org, tel: + 36 1 327 3878, ext. 2566. 

Columbia University’s Public Interest Law Initiative (PILI) is a center
for learning and innovation that advances human rights principles by
stimulating the development of a public interest law infrastructure,
working primarily in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Russia
and Asia. PILI conducts activities in two principal areas: Institutional
Reform and Training and Education, with priority placed on the
cross-cutting theme of combating discrimination. It maintains a
headquarters in Budapest, with  additional offices in New York and


The Open Society Justice Initiative, an operational program of the Open
Society Institute (OSI), pursues law reform activities grounded in the
protection of human rights, and contributes to the development of legal
capacity for open societies worldwide. The Justice Initiative combines
litigation, legal advocacy, technical assistance, and the dissemination
of knowledge to secure advances in five priority areas: national
criminal justice, international justice, freedom of information and
expression, equality and citizenship, and anticorruption. Its offices
are in Abuja, Budapest, and New York. 


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