Whether it is a message about universality, yet another underlining of how out of step we are in the US, but the Russian Ministry of Justice, we hear from the Access to Justice Blog, has published a draft law on legal aid, allowing regions to adopt different models. Interestingly, this allows for three models, a salaried model, a private bar model, and a mixed model. As the blog puts it:
In Russia the Federal Ministry of Justice announced publicly a Bill on Legal Aid. According to the draft legislation the regional governors can select one of two schemes of delivering legal aid to the people who qualify for it. Option one envisages the establishment of specialized offices staffed with in-house lawyers of the like of the Public Defenders Offices. Such offices already exist in some regions and cities and deliver legal advice and representation in civil matters. The alternative option is to contract and remunerate private attorneys on a case by case basis. In fact, the Bill on Legal Aid provides also opportunity for a model mixing elements of PDO and Judicare. Private entities such as law firms or offices of notaries public also can provide pro-bono legal advice and representation.
The Justice Ministry is also developing a “map” of legal aid, showing availability.
At a minimum this may all be helpful in striking some about the universality of need, and the parallelism of the choices in different systems.