The Legal Aid Reformers’ Network (LARN) is an international information-sharing network of organizations and individuals working to promote the right to legal aid and effective defence. LARN builds on the experience of the Open Society Justice Initiative, which has created an informal network of public defenders and legal aid managers across Europe and globally. The Network provides for a platform to exchange experiences and collaborate for developing further the newly created legal aid systems, involving both policymakers and legal practitioners. LARN is open to any interested organizations and individuals.
LARN’s website is primarily meant as a tool for storing and sharing information on the right to legal aid in Europe and globally, bringing together information on the legal framework, comparative overviews and country information, studies and research, and tools for managers and practitioners. [See Resources]
The website is also meant as a platform for sharing news and concerns among interested individuals and organizations working on legal aid and criminal defence. [See News and Forum]
Registered users can also initiate discussions, post news items directly, and administer the comments to the respective post.
LARN’s website is organized with the support of the Human Rights Grants and Governance Program of the Open Society Institute. Initially, LARN was created by representatives of public defenders, legal aid managers and Soros Foundations in the following countries: Bulgaria, Georgia, Lithuania, Moldova, Mongolia and Ukraine. The current LARN Steering Group is formed of representatives from these countries. Legal aid reforms are under-going in all these countries, largely initiated as a result of local Soros Foundations’ lobbying and demonstration projects, in cooperation with the Open Society Justice Initiative.