The International Legal Foundation

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About us

The International Legal Foundation is the leading global advocate for the right to legal aid and a provider of quality, effective criminal defense to the poor around the world.

Driven by the belief that every person accused of a crime deserves to be represented by a well-trained lawyer, no matter their ability to pay, the ILF assists countries emerging from conflict or in transition to establish quality, effective criminal legal aid systems. The ILF currently has offices in Afghanistan, Nepal, and the West Bank, as well as a program in Tunisia.

 The ILF has trained lawyers to provide proactive, high-quality legal representation to over 30,000 people in need. The ILF’s impact on its clients’ lives and on the justice systems of these countries has been profound; clients who had languished in detention for years have been released, incidents of torture have been reduced, and many innocent men, women and children have been acquitted.

 The ILF also engages in advocacy on the issue of access to justice for the indigent and marginalized accused. Of note, the ILF played a key role in the drafting and adoption by the General Assembly of the United Nations Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems, the first international instrument on legal aid.

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