The ATLAS (Access to Legal Assistance) project (1 May 2016 – 30 April 2017) is moving forward!
Alessia, our new Project Officer, has finally moved to Malta and, together with Carla, they have identified relevant stakeholders and are now conducting interviews with service providers.
We have already met the General Legal Aid Unit and the Third Country Nationals Unit, gathering information about the actual availability of legal assistance in Malta for asylum, civil and criminal proceedings.
We have also spoken to pro bono lawyers and NGOs providing free legal aid, for the purpose of gauging access to legal assistance and identifying the effective need for pro bono systems within a corporate social responsibility.
We will conduct several more stakeholder interviews to understand how service-users access legal aid services, and to note their experiences with the system.
Interviews will contribute to our research, that will focus on international and EU obligations in relation to provision of legal assistance, on current Maltese legislation and legal aid systems, as well as on recent proposals to the justice reform initiative in order to guarantee access to free legal assistance.
We are constantly following new legal developments so to have a comprehensive knowledge of the right of access to a lawyer.
Also, as part of the capacity-building aim of the ATLAS project, we are organising a national workshop. We have invited national and international speakers and organisations for them to cast light on Malta’s obligations to provide legal aid as a fundamental human right of all people who are accused or suspected of crimes, who face any period of imprisonment, are involved in serious or complex cases, or who do not have the capacity to defend the case themselves.
Our aim is to define the possibilities to create and maintain an efficient legal aid system in Malta.
If you have any views on legal aid in Malta, or want further information on this project, get in touch with Alessia Cicatiello at [email protected].
This project is funded through the Voluntary Organisations Project Scheme managed by the Ministry for Social Dialogue, Consumer Affairs and Civil Liberties.