UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems

The UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems, adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in December, 2012, are ground-breaking and progressive, in part because of their very existence.

Legal aid is a complex matter and is usually dealt with by each  country at national level. Over recent years, the European Union has attempted to develop EU-wide standards on legal aid, but the issue has been so controversial that nothing has yet been tabled by the Commission. The Principles and Guidelines also go beyond any existing regional or international standards.

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