Special entrepreneur defends her right to free legal aid

Other state regulators StateGeoCadastre L'viv region

Complainee:  The Ministry of Justice of Ukraine (MinJust), Lviv Legal Aid Bureau (Bureau)
Complaint in brief: The Council received a complaint from a private entrepreneur from Lviv. The businesswoman complained that Lviv Legal Aid Bureau had refused to provide her with free secondary legal aid. The woman wanted to appeal the court decision on dismantling a summer playground near her cafe. However, in the opinion of the Bureau, the entrepreneur did not belong to the list of categories of persons who, according to Article 14 of the Law “On Free Legal Aid’, are entitled to such support from the state. The woman, being a disabled person of group II, was outraged by actions of the Bureau. She defended her position by insisting on constitutionally guaranteed rights of a disabled person to social protection. The entrepreneur asked the Business Ombudsman Council to start investigating her case immediately.
Actions taken: After examining the complaint, the investigator supported the private entrepreneur’s position. The BOC concluded that the position of the Bureau might have been unbalanced. The Council stressed that free secondary legal aid is a type of state guarantee aimed at creating equal opportunities for citizens to access justice.
The Business Ombudsman Council recommended that Lviv Local Center for Free Secondary Legal Aid reporting to the Bureau, provide legal support to the complainant. The Council found that when applying for free legal aid, the entrepreneur had provided all the necessary documents regarding her disability and justified belonging to the category of persons entitled to receive legal support. Therefore, there were objective grounds for the Bureau to meet the needs of an entrepreneur with disabilities.
Result achieved: Thanks to the Council’s mediation, Lviv Legal Aid Bureau reviewed its decision and agreed to provide the complainant with free legal aid. The entrepreneur thanked the team of investigators: “I want to thank you and the BOC team for their professional approach to resolving our complaint.” The case was successfully closed.

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