On January 29th, 2013, expanded meeting of the Board of Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation (ULAF) was held in Kiev. Sergei Konnov, ULAF Board member, senior partner of Konnov & Sozanovsky, took part in the meeting. Participants discussed organization’s achievements in 2012 and development directions in 2013.
The main ULAF’s task is development of the organizations network providing free legal aid, and also building standards and practices of free legal assistance.
- Providing legal aid to people is a vital necessity in our country, as Ukrainians don’t really know much about their rights and duties. At the same time, not everyone can afford turning to professional lawyers. Therefore, Foundation’s effort to ensure implementation of the Constitutional right to get high-quality legal help should be welcomed, - says Sergei Konnov, ULAF Board member, senior partner of Konnov and Sozanovsky Attorneys at Law.
Nowadays, ULAF supports activity of 3 Public defense offices in Kharkov, Khmelnitskiy and Belaya Tserkov, where lawyers along with other projects grant free support for citizens in criminal cases. In 2012, Network of legal aid for vulnerable groups was created. The Network’s lawyers and attorneys at law provide legal help for people who use drugs, people living with HIV/AIDS, patients of substitution maintenance therapy, individuals who are under the pressure from the authorities for providing social and medical care to vulnerable groups. Today, successful results of the project are achieved thanks to cooperation with 11 lawyers and attorneys in 10 Ukrainian cities and towns.
This year, the Foundation is planning to continue developing legal aid projects. As before, ULAF will focus on teaching and giving timely information to lawyers and attorneys in order to form and support high standards and practices in work.
Ukrainian Legal Aid Foundation was established in 2011 with participation of Ukrainian Bar Association, which is also focusing on creating favorable conditions to provide high-quality legal services to people. While being the President of the Association in 2010, Sergei Konnov initiated the organization of Ukrainian Free Legal Aid Day. The event became a tradition: it is being held yearly, and it is aimed to provide legal services to low-income individuals, NGOs, charitable and other non-profit organizations and small businesses on the part of law firms and private attorneys.
- I am glad that more companies and attorneys join this project each year. Konnov & Sozanovsky participates in Free Legal Aid Days on a regular basis. Besides, our lawyers and attorneys conduct some cases free of charge for the Ukrainians, who are in need for help, but don’t have enough money to pay for such services, - said Sergei Konnov.