One of means of protection of constitutional civil rights and liberties of citizens is provision of free legal assistance to the citizens of the Russian Federation according to the procedure established by the legislation of the Russian Federation.
According to Article 48 of the Constitution of Russian Federation and Article 33 of the Constitution of the Republic of Tatarstan, everyone shall be guaranteed the right to qualified legal assistance, in the cases envisaged by law, legal assistance shall be provided free of charge.
The Russian Federation currently has a Federal Law № 324-FL «On Free Legal Assistance in the Russian Federation» of November 21, 2011 (entered into force on January 15, 2012) which establishes legal provisions for state and non-state free legal assistance in the Russian Federation.
According to the above mentioned Law, the members of the state system of free legal assistance are federal executive authorities and their subordinated bodies; executive authorities of entities of the Russian Federation and their subordinated bodies; governing bodies of state extrabudgetary funds; state legal assistance offices. Attorneys, notaries and other bodies providing free legal assistance may have the right to participate in the state system of free legal assistance in accordance with the procedure established by federal laws and laws of entities of the Russian Federation.
The Legislation defines categories of citizens who may be eligible for free legal assistance within a state system (including citizens whose average per capita income is lower than the minimum subsistence level set in the Russian Federation’s entity, disabled persons of groups I and II, the World War II veterans and other groups); it also defines cases for rendering this kind of help.
Non-state system of free legal assistance is formed on a voluntary basis. Participants of non-state system of free legal assistance are legal clinics and non-state centres of free legal assistance.
Besides, the Republic of Tatarstan has a law № 73-LRT «On provision of free legal assistance to citizens of the Republic of Tatarstan» of November 2, 2012 (revised edition of November 11, 2013) which regulates relations connected with the provision of exercising the right of citizens of the Republic of Tatarstan to get free qualified legal assistance according to the Federal Law № 324- FL «On free legal assistance to citizens of the Russian Federation» of November 21, 2011.
One of the forms of the provision of free legal assistance at present is «legal aid emergency centres» established upon an initiative of the Association of Lawyers of Russia in Russian regions. The right to free legal assistance is an important element of the constitutional right to qualified legal assistance.
Thus, it is stated that there was established a regional office of the all-Russian public organization «The Association of Russian Lawyers» in the Republic of Tatarstan. The Constitutional Court of the Republic of Tatarstan actively cooperates with the office and which is a voluntary, autonomous public association created on the initiative of citizens uniting on the basis of common interests in realizing their common goals. This organization is the largest social entity uniting legal practitioners, scientists, statesmen and public figures.
“The Association of Russian Lawyers’’, as a nationwide association of the legal community, is based on the principles of equality of its members, the rule of law, publicity, voluntariness, self-management and is aimed at consolidation of the legal community in order to participate in building up a democratic society and the development of the rule of institutions of the constructional state.
All the judges and most of the staff of the Constitutional Court of the republic are members of the Tatarstan regional office of “The Association of Russian Lawyers’’ public organisation.
In addition to dealing with references received directly to the constitutional Court of the Republic , the Court staff carries out fairly extensive work with population of the republic in provision free of legal assistance within a framework of the agreements reached with public authorities and public associations.
In particular, the staff of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Tatarstan in conjunction with the Association of lawyers of Russia systematically carries out the reception of citizens and provides them with legal consultation in Public reception of the President of the Russian Federation in the Republic of Tatarstan and in the Regional public reception of Dmitry Medvedev, the chairman of the party "United Russia", according to the approved schedule.
As a result of these meetings, the staff has provided free assistance on legal issues to more than 50 citizens. Besides the practice of mutual cooperation between the Chief Federal Inspector of the Republic of Tatarstan and the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Tatarstan on the provision of the qualified legal assistance to citizens continues. The efforts of the Court staff carried out in this area, were useful to more than 40 citizens.
In Kazan on June 27, 2013 in the report-back election conference of the Council of the Tatarstan regional branch of the all-Russian public organisation, “The Association of Russian Lawyers’’ the Chief of Staff of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Tatarstan was elected a member of the Tatarstan regional branch of all-Russian public organization “The Association of Russian Lawyers’’.
Moreover, in January 2013 a cooperation agreement about providing the free legal consultation to the population of the Republic on legal issues on the basis of legal clinics in the city was signed between the Constitutional Court of the Republic and of the Regional youth public organisation “Students League of the Republic of Tatarstan”.
Within the terms of this agreement, the staff of the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Tatarstan on the basis of the existing legal clinics in the city of Kazan of the University of management “TISBI”, Kazan Law Institute (branch) of the Russian law Academy of the Ministry of justice of the Russian Federation and the Kazan branch of the “Russian Academy of Justice” obtain and provide legal advice to citizens.
All chiefs of departments of the staff of the court, the department of science and analytics and advisers of the judges take part in work of legal clinics and in rendering legal consultations in public receptions.
The section of the submitted appeals of the Constitutional Court official website has been enhanced in order to improve the efficiency of work with citizens and to provide them with the qualified legal assistance.
In particular, the way single-click sending in appeals to the Court to simplify the usage of the website in the specified section. Now citizens can appeal to the Constitutional Court of the republic, just clicking the Feedback icon on the homepage of the official website.
It should be noted that the practice of that kind of acceptance of appeals to the Court (on November 11, 2013) considerably affected their quantity since that moment more than 50 percent of all the Internet appeals registered in Court in 11 months were submitted. These appeals are also registered and considered by the staff of the Constitutional court of the Republic of Tatarstan for compliance the article 43 of the Law of the Republic of Tatarstan “About the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Tatarstan”, and the answers to them are also sent to the applicants in electronic form.
Thus, the activities for rendering free legal assistance to the population which are carried out by public authorities in the Republic of Tatarstan and in particular the Constitutional Court of the republic give positive results providing a beneficial effect on the development of legal literacy and legal consciousness of the population.
Taking into account the decision of the Coordination Council of the administration of the Ministry of Justice of Russia for the Republic of Tatarstan of December 19, 2013 number 2, responsible individuals are determined for the organization of free legal assistance to the population and the provision of information about these events in the Constitutional Court of the Republic of Tatarstan: Sadykov Ildar– the Head of the department of science and analytics.
Tel .: 264-74-87.
Last updated: 13 February 2019, 15:27