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HomeCosta RicaCosta Rica's Public Defender's Office Sets the Standard for Accessible Justice

Costa Rica’s Public Defender’s Office Sets the Standard for Accessible Justice

The virtual workstations promoted by the Public Defender’s Office of Costa Rica is one of the outstanding projects to encourage new forms of access to services before the different public defender’s offices in Latin America.

This was emphasized by the general coordinator of AIDEF’s public defender’s offices and director of the Public Defense of Costa Rica, Juan Carlos Pérez Murillo, at the International Conference: The Role of the Public Defense in Latin America, held on March 7. The activity was organized by the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights of Peru.

“The public defender’s offices in Latin America and the Caribbean face the challenge of seeking new forms of access to justice that allow them to keep up with a globalized world.

Costa Rica is a great example of virtual stations that facilitate the provision of public defense services in places that were previously unreachable due to their distances, which translates into savings of resources not only for the public defender’s offices themselves but also for the users, most of whom are in a special situation of vulnerability,” highlighted Juan Carlos Perez Murillo.

He also urged for new ways of disseminating the services of the different public defender’s offices, which would make it possible to reach new places and populations, highlighting the web pages so that users could find a clear guide on how to access the services of the institutions.

Exchange of experiences, cooperation, best practices, and Open Public Defender’s Offices, as a model developed in Costa Rica based on the principles of transparency, citizen participation, and collaboration, were also mentioned.

Currently, the main objective of Public Defenders in Latin America is to ensure that people who resort to them have access to justice throughout the legal process, regardless of their socioeconomic status. They must ensure their right to defense, in accordance with paragraph 8.2 d) of the American Convention on Human Rights.

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