The portal www.potrebujipravnika.cz is run by PILA as a part of the project  Enhancement of accessibility of legal aid in the area of human rights protection”. The project is aimed at increasing the accessibility of the legal aid in the Czech Republic and is a part of a broader set of PILA activities focused on the same goal.

Access to legal aid, one of the elementary prerequisites of protection of human rights, is in the Czech Republic for various reasons limited and restricted. Many people cannot afford the legal aid for financial reasons. The system of legal aid in the Czech Republic is also very complicated and particularized and it is difficult for citizens to orientate in it. There is also an alarming lack of publicity and public information about possibilities how to access legal aid, about its providers, about citizens‘  rights to obtain the help, and also the practical information and advice is missing, which only further diminishes the effectivity of the system.


The portal www.potrebujipravnika.cz is designed as an interactive guide through the system of legal aid in the Czech Republic, listing various aspects of possible legal problems and offering practical help in finding the proper type of legal aid for specific legal problems. It also includes a extensive list of NGOs providing any type of legal aid with description of their activities and contacts.  It explains and describes the role of barristers and the Czech Bar Association in the system of legal aid.


The portal itself addresses three main groups of possible users and is divided into three directories:

1. for citizens with no legal education and experience with the system of legal aid. 

2. for professionals and for informed public looking for more detailed information or for forms or examples of administrative actions.

3. for NGOs looking for help for their clients or for themselves.



For the first group there is a simple and effective Guide through the system of legal aid in a form of a questionnaire which by simple yes/no answers takes the user into particular section of the provided information. For very specific cases or users unable to orientate themselves there is a contact for the advice centre and the helpline run by PILA providing advice where to find adequate legal aid. The centre does not provide the legal aid itself; it directs the client to the proper segment of the legal aid system. The help line works from Mon to Fri, 9-17:

Poradna dostupnosti právní pomoci
tel: + 420 777 668 710
Email: potrebujipravnika@pilaw.cz


Detailed information

is a section which focuses mainly on professional users and informed public. It contains all useful information concerning the legal aid provided in the Czech Republic and is divided into 6 main sections:

·         It describes 2 basic types of legal aid (legal advice and representation in proceedings) and it lists its providers, including contacts and possible ways of contacting individual providers of legal aid.


·         Administrative actions forms and types: this section includes examples of forms and types for various kinds of administrative actions: civil proceedings, penal proceedings, administrative proceedings, and transfrontier proceedings.


·         Legal aid and barristers: in this section users can find definition of barrister and list of possible forms of legal aid provided by barristers: legal advice, formation of contracts and other letters and documents, preparation of various administrative actions, legal representation. In this section users can also find the costs of the barrister services.  Authors give useful advice how to choose a good barrister, they offer a list the rights and duties of the barrister towards the client, and describe the service of Czech Bar Association as the only mediator of free barrister legal aid with practical tips, how to apply for the Czech Bar Association assistance.


·         Specialized free legal aid: this section deals with specialized areas of problems which are not in the capacity of a standard barrister to deal with, for the time consumption demands and necessary special knowledge behind usual legal education.

It is a section useful mainly for clients who deserve complex help, who are for example victims of domestic violence or other violent crime, victims of discrimination, victims of human trafficking, or asylum seekers etc. The specialized legal aid is provided by non-profit non-governmental organizations and it includes not only service of a lawyer but also other specialists, for example psychologists, and social workers. The section includes a list of specific areas and list of NGOs with contacts and description of their activities, which specialized in those areas of special legal aid.   

Users can find also description how to proceed with a NGO, chat types of legal aid individual organizations could provide, what are the rights and duties of the NGO client and of the NGO, how the quality of the provided service is guaranteed.


·         Free legal aid outside proceedings:  this section describes types of legal aid and its providers except representation in any kind of proceedings.  Each provider is described and its activities.

These providers include:

-free legal advice centres of the Czech Bar Association, which work on personal contact and include basic legal consultations, the list of them is available on Czech Bar Association website.

-civil advice centres, which are non profit organizations, which provide free independent, specialized social advice in many areas (for example welfare, insurance, consumer rights, family law, labour law, environment, education, tenant issues, etc.) to people in need. They provide legal advice and could help with writing legal submissions.

-regional advisory centres for employees which are part of the Czech-Moravian Confederation of Trade Unions. They provide free legal aid to trade unions members in issues concerning the labour law, welfare, insurance, etc. They can represent in proceedings concerning labour law. Users can find list of the centres in this section.

- law clinics and other advisory students organizations at the law schools:  in law clinics at the law schools law students  provide free legal aid under supervision of experienced barristers or lecturers to people who cannot afford paid help from lawyers. Usually the law clinics are incorporated into the faculty curriculum. Students can provide legal advice, mostly in written form.  Law clinics work at the Palacky University in Olomouc, so far.

students legal advisory centres are volunteer students organizations in which students help citizens in need. They provide legal advice. Recently there are organizations in Plzeň, Olomouc, and Prague. Contacts and description of their activities could be found at this section of the portal.  

-I need to start proceeding: in this subsection there are elementary information how to start proceeding

·         Free legal aid in proceedings: this section contains 7 sets of questions and answers according to the type of proceeding: civil proceedings, penal proceedings (for both positions, of accused and of sufferer), administrative, administrative judiciary, transboundary, proceedings about constitution complaint, and proceedings at the European Court for Human Rights.

All subsections contain most frequent questions concerning legal aid which can occur in each type of proceeding. Most of the questions concern the possibility and forms of legal representation, possibilities and costs of appeal against the court decision, the costs of court taxes, and exemption of the court tax and other costs.


for ngos

This section focuses on users from non-profit, non-governmental organizations who seek legal aid for their clients or for their organization itself. Most of the information provided directs the users to Pro bono centre run by PILA which is specialized clearing house for pro bono legal services.


To summarize the goals and meaning of the portal www.potrebuji pravnika.cz: this is a complex summary and overview of the system of legal aid in the Czech Republic. It is a practical step-by-step guide for citizens who need legal aid with extensive list of providers of legal aid and contacts. 

This portal is another step towards increasing the accessibility of legal aid in the Czech Republic.





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