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Discrimination > Assistance to victims of discrimination > Free legal aid to victims of discrimination

Defender and discrimination

Possibilities of free legal aid to victims of discrimination

The role of the Public Defender of Rights is to contribute to promoting the right to equal treatment and to this end provide methodological assistance to the victims of discrimination with lodging a petition to commence proceedings on the grounds of discrimination.

However, not all complainants have sufficient funds to assert their claims in court or to initiate proceedings before and administrative body or a state administration body.

Therefore the Public Defender of Rights has established cooperation with civil association Pro bono aliance, which arranges free legal aid to selected victims of discrimination. This legal aid mostly consists in bringing court actions and administrative actions in favour of complainants who turn to the Defender with a complaint regarding discrimination and the Defender finds that discrimination took place in their case. 

Free legal aid may be provided only to complainants  

a) whom the Defender finds to be victims of discrimination,

b) who notify the Defender that they intend to assert their claims as victims of discrimination before court, or initiate proceedings before an administrative body/a state administration body,

c) whose financial situation prevents them from paying for legal aid themselves .

Specific legal aid is provided on the basis of a contract between a cooperating law firm or an attorney from the Pro bono aliance civil association and a complainant (client). The Defender does not interfere with this relationship in any way. The Public Defender of Rights in particular provides an evaluation of the act of discrimination with respect to substantive law, including an analysis of domestic and international judicature as well as existing statements of the Defender as an antidiscrimination place.

The Pro bono aliance civil association arranges legal representation to several complainants per year. In these cases law firms provide their legal services completely free of charge and do not require the victims of discrimination to pay a flat fee to cover cash expenses. 

Pro bono aliance is an alliance of lawyers striving to increase the effectiveness of the legal system in protecting human rights and other public interests. In particular, the alliance promotes increased accessibility of legal aid and socially responsible performance by legal professions.

 

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