INPRIS is a legal think tank

Justice in Times of Crisis - the conference of the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights

6-7 December 2012. The European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights (FRA) hosted its annual Fundamental Rights Conference at the European Parliament in Brussels. The conference was focused on Justice in austerity - challenges and opportunities for access to justice.

Among the 300 participants at this conference were the President of the European Parliament  Martin Schulz, European Commission Vice-President Viviane Reding, over a dozen MEPs, and representatives of Justice system from all EU countries. Łukasz Bojarski attended the conference on behalf of INPRIS. During the working group dedicated to access to justice, he drew attention to the need for a holistic approach to the issues regarding legal aid (in terms of access to legal information, legal advice and representation before courts and administrative bodies). He also highlighted the need for detailed studies, in particular on out-of-court legal aid issues and consideration of the need for regulation in this regard on a Europe-wide level.

The key issues that were raised at the conference included:

  • What are the effects of economic crisis on judicial systems and those seeking justice?
  • How can access to justice be maintained for everyone, including people in precarious situations, who have become even more vulnerable during the economic crisis?
  • What are the emerging patterns in litigation, private legal services or state-funded legal aid programmes?
  • How can we turn this time of economic crisis into an opportunity for innovation, needed harmonization and reform? What are the solutions and who are the actors that can further access to justice at national as well as European levels?

More information about the conference and studies on access to justice carried out by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights can be found here.