In 2005-2007 a new model of legal aid was piloted. It was created within premises of the Ministry of Justice in the form of Legal Person of Public Law and it covered two territorial bureaus (Tbilisi and Imereti- Zestafoni)
In 2007 the Parliament of Georgia adopted the Law of Georgia on Legal Aid.
In 2009-2013 Legal Aid Service became a legal person of public law of the Ministry of Penitentiary, Probation and Legal Aid.
In 2005-2014 the territorial coverage of the Legal Aid Service was extended from 2 to 18 offices.
In 2009, the Roster of invited public lawyers was created.
The strategy of Legal Aid Service is being implemented from 2015 in the framework of the criminal justice reform.
The reform of legal aid has 4 main purposes:
- Ensuring independence, transparency and sustainable development of legal aid
- Increasing access to legal aid
- Ensuring high quality service
- Raising public awareness
1. Ensuring independence, transparency and sustainable development of Legal Aid Service
In December 2013, based on amendments in the law on legal aid, the Legal Aid Service ceased to be part of executive and became an independent legal entity of public law accountable towards Parliament. Collegial body of legal aid board was created for the purpose ensuring independence and transparency of Legal Aid Service.
2. Increasing accessibility of legal aid
In order to meet with needs of beneficiaries, it is important to increase the accessibility of legal aid. For this purpose, the mandate of Legal Aid Service was extended from 2015 on civil and administrative cases. Likewise, the area of coverage of Legal Aid Service was extended to geographically isolated, high mountainous regions populated with ethnic minority. In 2016 one more bureau – Signagi legal aid bureau was created in Kakheti region.
3. Ensuring high quality service
The assurance of high quality service covers following components: effective functioning of roster of invited public lawyers and its cooperation with other providers of legal aid, specialization of public defenders in juvenile justice, the improvement of management sytem of LAS, continuous professional training of the staff, including on the questions of violence against women and domestic violence.
4. Raising public awareness
For the purpose of raising public awareness, Legal Aid Service continues to inform the public on the activities, ongoing reforms and planned activities of Legal Aid Service. For this purpose, in order to ensure the transparency, the LAS continuously updates its webpage.