EU Member States are obligated to provide migrants with access to free-of-charge legal aid in appeal proceedings. This obligation arises out of Procedures Directive 2013/32/EU and Return Directive 2008/115/EU. Poland has not implemented Return Directive correctly yet. This negatively affects the possibility of taking advantage of an effective remedy guaranteed in Article 47 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights, e.g. deportations are conducted before the expiration of the deadline for filing an appeal with the court. This complicates the situation of the entire sector of organizations responsible for providing legal aid in approx. 90% of proceedings in Poland as they have to cover the costs of legal aid from their own funds.
The essence of our project is to monitor migrants’ access to legal aid in asylum and return procedures as well as increase lawyers’ qualifications (2 workshops, 4 working meetings, and 2 internships for students of law), monitor public policy (8 applications for access to public information), and prepare written questions with regard to failure to implement European law. The implementation of the project will be summarized in a report submitted to entities responsible for shaping the state’s policy, which is to become the basis for improving the system of free legal aid.
The activities will benefit NGO involved in this area as well as foreigners and state authorities responsible for conducting administrative proceedings in foreigners’ cases. The results of the project will contribute to the proper transposition of European law, which should render it easier to finance services covered by free legal aid provided by NGOs, guarantee access to good-quality free legal aid as well as improve administrative activities.
The partnership with the UNHCR guarantees better access to information and will ensure that the results of studies will be used by an impartial and recognized international organization supporting the entire sector as well as migrants.