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Access to justice
This program aims at increasing disenfranchised individuals' and communities' ability to assert and uphold their rights in France. It operates by supporting three ongoing access to justice initiatives. In the "Maisons de Justice et du Droit" project, students work within the three “Houses of Justice and Law” in Paris and provide free legal advice support on a weekly basis. In the « Crésus » project, students offer legal consultations to individuals in debt or financially vulnerable in the greater Paris region. In the "Défenseur des Droits" project, students assist the new French “Rights Defender” (i.e French Ombudsman) in various aspects of its mission, ranging from case selection to case handling under the supervision of the Défenseur’s in-house legal counsels.
The "Houses of Law and Justice" Project
This project is the result of an agreement with the Access to Right Departmental Counsel (CDAD in French), a public organization that brings together the traditional players of the access to law and notably, the Lawyer's Order of the Bar of Paris, the President of the District Court of Paris, and the association of Legal Aid. It permits today for master students of economic law and of judicial and legal careers from law school, selected in order to participate in this project, to carry out weekly meetings in the three Parisian legal advice centers (Maisons de Justice et du Droit or MJD in French).
During these meetings, the students are exposed to the challenges of local justice. They have thus made it their mission to welcome those who have run into legal difficulties, most often concerning the right of foreigners, the right of the family, the right of work or the right of the consumer. In the framework of this mission, they direct and guide these people in their administrative steps, conduct legal research at the request of the jurists and law professionals from the legal advice centers (MJD), and assist the coordinators of the MJD on the actions of providing information and awareness put in place by scholastic establishments.
While listening to those who face concrete legal problems, the students have the opportunity to work in a way that builds up the complex problems from the origin of these difficulties and to envision all the possible legal solutions that can be exercised.
The "Commissioner for Human Rights" Project
This project aims to allow students to take an active role in the different actions led by the Commissioner for Human Rights. The students participate in three sessions of legal classification, and case file orientation (of amicable or contentious settlements) and thus their processing, under the direction of a jurist of the Commissioner for Human Rights. They are also guaranteed meetings with a delegate and contribute at the open house of the Commissioner for Human Rights in Paris.
The "Cresus" Project
The objective of this project is to allow students to participate in the activities of the Cresus Association, who has the mission to provide aide and counsel for people who have extensive debt or are financially fragile in the Ile-de-France region. During the weekly meetings within this association, the students welcome and listen to people or families who are struggling with the heaving burden of financial difficulties so as to help them regain a balanced stable financial situation, particularly in guiding them in their administrative steps.