The growth of a pro-bono culture in Russia

August 25, 2011 Here is an interesting article on the growth of pro bono legal work in Russia. Just a few years ago, pro bono work was an unfamiliar concept in Russia, but things are starting to change.

Access to justice in Russia remains patchy. Until recently people that could not afford legal services turned to specialist NGOs. The Russian government has now moved to establish a pilot legal aid system in some regions, providing legal services in noncriminal matters to indigent and vulnerable groups, while criminal legal aid remains the responsibility of local bar associations. Simultaneously, some of the more economically advanced regions have introduced civil legal aid schemes funded by local budgets.

There is certainly space in Russia for the provision of pro bono legal services by the private sector. As this article notes: “One of the great challenges to securing further progress, at present, is awareness. Many NGOs do not know where to turn for free legal advice, and law firms do not know where the need lies.”

Read more at www.themoscowtimes.com.

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