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May 2012
EWMI Facilitates Partnership Between State and Non-State Legal Aid Providers

On May 23, the Civil Development Agency (CiDA), a Georgian NGO supported by a grant from EWMI’s Judicial Independence and Legal Empowerment Project (JILEP), organized a conference entitled, “State Legal Aid Service: Reality and Challenges.” During the conference, CiDA presented their study of the capacity and needs of the State Legal Aid Service (LAS). Mr. Irakli Kobidze, Head of the LAS, also spoke and made a presentation outlining the current activities of his organization. These presentations were followed by an active discussion of what was needed to further develop the LAS as an institution and how it could improve the services it provides to citizens. The major achievement of the conference was the signing of a Memorandum of Cooperation between the LAS and eleven local, nongovernmental legal aid providers establishing a framework for a partnership that will include the development of a referral system for clients and an exchange of information between state and non-state legal aid providers.