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Access to Legal Aid

We believe that access to a quality lawyer is a fundamental human right, and essential to the fair administration of justice. We expand access to justice through global advocacy and the provision of criminal legal aid services.

Criminal defense lawyers provide critical protection against arbitrary detention, torture, coercion, and other human rights abuses. Legal aid aims to curb discrimination in the justice system, providing free access to counsel for those in need so that everyone--no matter their identity or lack of financial resources--is treated fairly and with dignity. 

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However, access to a lawyer means nothing if that lawyer cannot or will not provide a meaningful, effective defense. Providing and promoting quality legal aid is at the core of our mission. 


In addition to direct legal aid services, we advise leaders around the world on the creation, expansion, and implementation of legal aid; we provide criminal defense training and services in varied country settings; and we have established a system to measure the quality and effectiveness of criminal legal aid in our report, Measuring Justice.