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Academic Conference Improving Protection of Victims’ Rights: Access to Legal Aid

On 9 June 2014 in Poznan, Poland, the Adam Mickiewicz University organised an academic conference on Improving Protection of Victims’ Rights: Access to Legal Aid. The conference marked the closing of a European initiative, implemented by a consortium of universities and NGOs from five Member States, including the Center for the Study of Democracy.

The Bulgarian delegation to the conference comprised Mr Georgi Spasov, member of the Expert Committee to the National Council for Assistance and Compensation to Victims of Crime, Mr Hristo Botev, attorney-at-law from the Sofia Bar Association, and Ms Miryana Ilcheva, Research Fellow with the Law Program of the Center for the Study of Democracy.

Partners to the initiative presented the research and practical findings made, as well as the conclusions and recommendations, sent to institutions and civic sector involved from Poland, Bulgaria, Latvia, Italy and Spain.

Representatives of the European Commission and scholars from Poland, the United Kingdom and Spain delineated the challenges before legal aid in Member States and the harmonisation of national legal orders with EU norms.

Practitioners from Portugal, Italy, Bulgaria and Latvia noted the problems, encountered during everyday work with victims, and the ways to improve the system for their protection in terms of communication, training of professionals and restorative justice.

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