The Constitution of the Republic of Kosovo, Article 31 (Right to Fair and Impartial Trial)
“Free legal assistance shall be provided to those without sufficient financial means if such assistance is necessary to ensure effective access to justice”.
- Free Legal Aid
If you have issues deriving from family relationships; unsolved property issues; problems in labour law; someone has contractual relations with you; you have a claim to be resolved by administrative bodies; you have to undertake court proceedings, or someone is conducting court proceedings against you; you are arrested or detained.
You need free legal aid which is provided by the legal aid offices, officers and lawyers hired by the legal aid offices.
- What does the right to legal aid mean?
Legal Aid Commission offers free legal aid through professional legal services, such as:
- legal counselling
- drafting submissions
- representing before courts and other authorities
- Who is entitled to receive free legal aid?
If due to your economic situation you cannot solve your problem and cannot afford hiring a lawyer on private basis, because:
- you don’t have any incomes
- you live from social assistance
- you are retired
- your monthly incomes are less than the average in the country
You fulfil the financial criteria to benefit from free legal aid.
- What next?
You will contact the nearest legal aid office and present your legal problem. If your claim is based on laws applicable in the Republic of Kosovo, you are fully qualified to benefit from free legal aid.
- Where will you realise the right to free legal aid?
Legal Aid Commission has ten offices for free legal aid located in places which can easily be identified and found, with addresses and telephone numbers
- Who will instruct you on how to realise your right?
Legal aid offices have two lawyers and one administrative assistant, who once they hear your legal problem will fill in the application and depending on the criteria and nature of the legal problem, will issue a decision to grant or refuse the provision of free legal aid.
Application should be accompanied by all documents necessary for the realisation of the right to free legal aid, (personal documents as well as other supporting documents which prove your financial status and social, respectively)
- The right to appeal against the decision to refuse free legal aid
If your application for free legal aid has been refused, you have the right to file an appeal against such a decision. The appeal shall be submitted to the office which provided free legal aid or to the Coordination Office within 15 days from the day when the decision was received. Competent body shall review your appeal and decide within 30 days from the day when the appeal was received.
- Who will pay the expenses for realisation of your right?
Legal Aid Commission enables you to benefit from professional legal services provided by officials, or engaged lawyers. Such services are free and you will not pay for their legal actions.
- Your rights in connection with free legal aid
If for realisation of your right court proceedings are underway, you are released from paying court costs.
Your obligations when receiving free legal aid
Provision of accurate information on economic situation
When applying for free legal aid you are obliged to provide accurate information on your economic situation. If discovered that you have provided false information while receiving free legal aid, then such assistance will cease immediately. At the same time, you will be obliged to compensate funds that were spent in your case.
- Information on changed economic situation
If while receiving free legal aid, especially during the conduct of court proceedings, your economic situation improves, you are obliged to inform legal aid office which is handling your case, in order to reconsider your entitlement to free legal aid.
- Refunding in case of successful resolution of your case
If you win the court case, court expenses which are to be compensated by the opposing party shall be transferred in the Legal Aid Commission bank account in the amount as determined by the court.
- Legal aid in criminal cases
Immediate legal aid
For all arrested and detained persons who cannot afford to engage a lawyer on private basis, legal aid offices will immediately engage and call a lawyer to ensure the provision of legal assistance.
- Confidentiality of information
Legal aid providers have an obligation to maintain strict confidentiality of information that they have received through the provision of legal aid to the applicants, or through representation by lawyers, except cases when disclosure is made with the consent of the beneficiary or as required by law.
List of Free Legal Aid Offices and their addresses
Prishtinë: AFLA Central Office, Str. “Zenel Salihu” No.30; Tel. 038 200 18 942
ROFLA Prishtinë: Str. “Zenel Salihu” No.30; Tel. 038 200 18 945
ROFLA Prizren: Str. “Marin Barleti” No.11; Tel. 029 230 554
ROFLA Pejë: Str. “Bukureshës” No.8; Tel. 039 423 698
ROFLA Mitrovicë: Str. “Vëllëzrit Dragaj” No.16; Tel. 028 534 477
ROFLA Gjilan: Str. “Mulla Idrizi” No. 41: Tel. 0280 321 134