Ukrainian Paralegal Association

Kyiv, Ukraine
Joined February 2022

Mission UPA develops Ukraine as a state governed by the rule of law and implements democratic changes in communities by building a capable community of paralegals.

Presence in: Ukraine
Focus: Community Paralegals

The number of paralegals in Ukraine today is 226 people, which are united in six regions, each of which has its own specifics. The work of each region is monitored and directed by a regional coordinator elected in its region.

Increase access to justice in communities by paralegals community development.

Restrictive access and low level of knowledge of residents of small communities and vulnerable groups about solving problems legally.

Many communities do not have free access to lawyers – remote mountain villages, small settlements, dying rural areas, vulnerable and closed communities, low-income citizens and so on.

Academic legal aid providers do not always take into consideration the specifics of working with low-income citizens, vulnerable groups. Very often insurmountable obstacles to access justice are inability or unwillingness to communicate with difficult or low-income clients, disregard of people, financial benefit, difficult legal terms, etc.

There is no effective communication between citizens and the authorities.

Paralegals study the existing legal issues carefully and redirect people to the relevant department or institution or provide legal information that will help solve the problem themselves. It can refer to both: the person and the community.

Paralegals are the real leaders of social change, as they help to solve problems legally and make their surroundings more knowledgeable about human rights. A network of such leaders in their communities can become an important tool in overcoming legal isolation.

Paralegal is someone who knows how the justice system works, what legal aid providers are, and understands which institution people need to visit in order to get a professional legal service as quickly and qualified as possible.

Paralegals can initiate and implement positive change in their communities, as well as receive support from donors, the state and the community itself.