On July 19, 2019, the Association of Legal Clinics of Kyrgyzstan, with the support of the USAID Collaborative Governance Program, held a conference on “The Role of Legal Clinics in the State-Guaranteed Legal Aid System.” 
The conference participants included representatives from different ministries and agencies, such as the Board of the Bar Association of the Kyrgyz Republic, Association of Legal Clinics of Kyrgyzstan, legal clinics from the country’s universities, civil society, and international organizations. 
At the conference, the Association of Legal Clinics of Kyrgyzstan (ALC) shared its achievements, results gained, and lessons learned as part of the implementation of the project “Strengthening the Interaction between Legal Clinics, the Center for Coordination of State-Guaranteed Legal Aid (SGLA Coordination Center), the Bar Association of the Kyrgyz Republic and Relevant Universities to Improve Access to Free Legal Aid for Vulnerable Populations”. The project has been implemented with the support of the USAID Collaborative Governance Program.
It should be noted that in March 2019, the Association of Legal Clinics of Kyrgyzstan, SGLA Coordination Center, and the Board of the Bar Association signed a cooperation agreement to promote access to legal aid. In April, 45 law students from across the country attended a series of trainings as part of the Rule of Law Summer School, where they gained the knowledge and skills necessary for providing legal assistance, and also interned at the Free Legal Aid Centers (FLACs).
In his opening remark, the USAID Mission Director, Mr. Gary Linden, noted: “Since 2016, we have been supporting the development of free legal aid in the Kyrgyz Republic. In three years, we helped open 10 FLACs in Batken, Jalal-Abad, Issyk-Kul, and Naryn provinces. This means that thousands of more people now have access to legal experts on critical issues like family disputes, property rights, obtaining documents, etc. Citizens face such issues every day!”
“I am especially glad that we are helping to engage future lawyers and legal experts in developing the Free Legal Aid system. This year, USAID has partnered with the Association of Legal Clinics to expand the network of free legal aid providers. I hope that we reach this goal. This project is only the first step in a long journey of cooperation between the Ministry of Justice and the legal clinics.”
The Minister of Justice, Mr. Marat Jamankulov, made opening remarks and thanked all the project participants for their collaborative efforts aimed at improving access to the state-guaranteed legal aid. “I hope that the law students have benefitted from their internship, and they will join the Ministry of Justice staff and Free Legal Aid Centers and thus, contribute to efficient implementation of the Law on State-Guaranteed Legal Aid,” the Minister noted.
During the conference, the young lawyers shared their views on their internship with the FLACs. The participants signed the Code of Legal Clinicist and the Memorandum of Cooperation between the Association of Legal Clinics of Kyrgyzstan and the Department for Registration of Vehicles and Drivers under the State Registration Service. The project’s top students and experts were awarded with certificates and letters of gratitude. The participants concluded that the legal clinics are part of the state-guaranteed legal aid system and help improve the government’s capacity for providing legal assistance to vulnerable populations.
 Photo 1 Gary Linden speaks IMG 0348

From left to right: Expert of the Legal Support Department of the President’s Administration Meder Jusupov, Mission Director of the USAID in the Kyrgyz Republic Gary Linden, Vice-Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh Mirlan Bakirov, Minister of Justice of the Kyrgyz Republic Marat Jamankulov, and President of the Association of Legal Clinics of Kyrgyzstan at the Conference “The Role of Legal Clinics in the State-Guaranteed Legal Aid System.”

Photo 2 All together memory photo IMG 0591

Over 60 representatives from government, civil society organizations, and the donor community, as well as law students from university legal clinics, took an active part in the Final Conference on the project “Strengthening the Interaction between Legal Clinics, the Center for Coordination of State-Guaranteed Legal Aid, the Bar Association of the Kyrgyz Republic and Relevant Universities to Improve Access to Free Legal Aid for Vulnerable Populations.”

Photo 2 Vice Speaker Marat Bakirov awards a Certificate to Law studentIMG 0561

Vice-Speaker of the Jogorku Kenesh (Parliament) Mirlan Bakirov hands a certificate to Rinat Amanturov, a law student at Issyk-Kul Law Institute, who successfully completed the Rule of Law Summer School and an internship with a Free Legal Aid Center.

Gary Linden awards a thank you letter to student IMG 0585

USAID Mission Director Mr. Gary Linden confers a letter of gratitude to Nurmambet Kulushev, a law student at Jalal-Abad State University, for successfully completing an internship with a Free Legal Aid Center under the SGLA Coordination Center of the Ministry of Justice.

Photo 3 Jyldyz Ryskolova Bakytbek Alisherov Azamat Kerimbaev IMG 0490

Deputy Director of the Coordination Center for State-Guaranteed Legal Aid (SGLA CC) under the Ministry of Justice Jyldyz Ryskulova presents her comments and recommendations on further cooperation with the Association of Legal Clinic of Kyrgyzstan; (from left to right) Director of the Educational and Methodological Center of the State Service for Financial Intelligence under the KR Government Bakytbek Alisherov, Director of the Office of the American Bar Association in the Kyrgyz Republic Azamat Kerimbaev, and Chairman of the Association of Lawyers of Kyrgyzstan Ruslan Myrzalimov.

Photo 4 Ruslan Myrzalimov Chair Association of Lawyers Selected and resized

Ruslan Myrzalimov, Chairman of the Association of Lawyers of Kyrgyzstan, highlighted in his speech the importance of involving legal clinic students in improving access to state-guaranteed legal aid for citizens and shared good news: “Law students, who successfully completed their internship with FLACs, can apply to the Association of Lawyers of Kyrgyzstan for membership without paying any membership fees while studying.”

Photo 6 Chinara Bakirova speaks IMG 0453

(Center) Executive Director of the Anti AIDS Association, Chinara Bakirova, provided her comments and highly approved the activities of the Association of Legal Clinics.

 

Photo 8 Ezengul kyzy Elizada IMG 0449

Esengul kyzy Elzada, a law student at Toktomamatov International University, presents the work she did, as part of her internship with the FLAC under the SGLA Coordination Center of the Ministry of Justice.

Photo 11 IMG 7054

Vyacheslav Korzhov, a law student at Issyk-Kul Law Institute, presents the work he did, as part of his internship with the FLAC under the Issyk-Kul Oblast Justice Department in Karakol.

Photo 10 IMG 7035

Rahmatullo Yusupov, a law student at Kyrgyz-Uzbek University, presents the work he did, as part of his internship with a FLAC in Southern Kyrgyzstan.

Photo 13 In attention interns presentation IMG 0439

Representatives from the donor community and KR President’s Office listen attentively to presentations from law students who had their internship with FLACs all over the country.

Photo 15 Law students with certificates IMG 7194

The law students, who successfully completed their internship with FLACs under the SGLA Coordination Center of the Ministry of Justice, received certificates and letters of gratitude for providing legal aid to citizens at FLACs around the country.