Short abstracts of the presentations were submitted by many of the speakers in advance of the conference. The titles of those that were submitted are underlined; to view those abstracts, click on the title.

Title: Access To Justice And Lawyers' Fee Arrangements - A Market Based Approach To Legal Aid Reform

Lead Presenter: Zvonimir Jelinic



Session Abstract: There are a number of people willing to take their case to courts, but are financially incapable to pay for lawyers' assistance. At the same time, they are rejected by the administration offices of the state-funded legal aid schemes on the basis that they have assets which prevent them to qualify for state funded legal aid. Every legal problem which stays unresolved tends to escalate in future, thus becoming more expensive to settle before the court of jurisdiction. While in many countries of continental Europe pro bono legal aid schemes practically do not exist, due to the fact that there are other - state funded legal aid schemes in place, it is in question what are the options for people in need for legal representation, but unable to qualify for free legal aid services. In his presentation the author will advocate that there is a need to change the ways lawyers' fees are regulated across continental Europe in order to ensure access to justice for those who may not be otherwise able to exercise their rights. It will be argued whether a radical reform - a market based approach to legal aid which will allow contracting of different - at the moment mostly prohibited fee arrangements, has the potential to ensure access to justice for those who are not rich enough to pay for legal services at the market price, but not poor enough to qualify for free legal aid services funded by the state.

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See full list of abstracts here.