On Monday, 10 August, the Ministry of Justice will host an event to review the pro bono legal assistance provided in child abduction and access rights cases. For three years now, in accordance with the cooperation agreement between the Ministry of Justice and the Latvian Council of Sworn Advocates, several lawyers have been providing legal representation of applicants in child abduction and access rights proceedings free of charge and for the benefit of the public (pro bono publico).

Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns: "Professional legal assistance in such cases ensures the observance of the child 's rights in a prompt and high - quality court proceeding - in the best interests of the child. Submission of the application and representation of the applicant is provided free of charge. The work of lawyers is an example and an invitation to other lawyers to join this initiative, both to provide free legal aid in cross-border child abduction cases and to use their knowledge to help other socially vulnerable groups.”

On 10 August 2017, the Ministry of Justice and the Latvian Council of Sworn Advocates together with six sworn advocates - Jeļena Averinska, Jānis Davidovičs, Baiba Didrihsone, Antra Kalēja, Imants Muižnieks and Māris Vainovskis - signed a cooperation agreement, according to which the said lawyers will provide pro bono (free of charge) legal aid for applicants living abroad in proceedings concerning child abduction and access rights under the Hague Convention of 25 October 1980. The cooperation agreement was signed with the aim of optimizing and improving the institute of legal representation in Latvia, as well as providing parents of children living abroad with quality legal assistance in situations when a child has entered Latvia illegally.

The results of the three-year cooperation will be published within the framework of the event. Since 2017, approximately 45 legal consultations on child abduction and access rights issues have been provided free of charge. The event will feature letters of thanks to lawyers who have been actively involved in providing free legal aid in child abduction and access rights cases.   

The event will be attended by representatives of the Ministry of Justice, including Minister of Justice Jānis Bordāns, representatives of the judiciary and sworn advocates.

Media access:

Media representatives are invited to participate in the event on August 10, 2020 at 10.00. Please apply to Lana Mauliņa by e-mail Lana.Maulina@tm.gov.lv or phone 67036738 until 10 August 2020 at 9.00 by sending your name, surname and the first half of the personal identification code.