Public Defense Offices

Public Defense Offices are pilot projects (hereinafter – PDO or Offices) that have been initiated pursuant to the Decree of the President Viktor Yushchenko on establishment of an effective system of free legal aid in Ukraine. The aim of such a system is to provide the citizens of Ukraine with tools for enforcement of the human right to access to justice in accordance with the Constitution of Ukraine and the Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.


The purpose of implementing the pilot projects on provision of free legal aid is to ensure highly qualified protection of rights and legal representation of clients, who are accused of criminal offences, and whose financial situation doesn’t allow them to hire a private lawyer.

The projects are aimed at developing a model system of these rights enforcement and through it – at promoting the reform of law enforcement bodies and courts practices and activities in order to bring those into line with the European standards.