Training civil servants in the Israeli legal system to provide more inclusive legal services

Solution
Accessible Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities
Organization
Israeli Ministry of Justice
Country of Implementation
Israel
Region
Asia & Pacific
Subregion
MENA
In cooperation with
JDC-Israel Unlimited and Israel Elwyn
Start Year
2018
First published
16.01.2022

The Accessible Legal Services for People with Disabilities program was launched by the Israeli Ministry of Justice and JDC-Israel Unlimited, together with operating partner Israel Elwyn to train lawyers and representatives from the legal system on how to improve their services for people with intellectual or mental disabilities.

In a bright conferece room with a beamer and a screen in the background, a man in a wheelchair holds a microphone and speaks to a large attentive audience, sitting on chairs.
First hand experience can change the rigid procedures of law enforcement

Solution details

People

Ayala DAVIDOWITZWebsite
“Such a unique experience – I learned from the best professions and witnessed a change in mindset.” Dr. Meytal Segal-Reich, Adv. National Supervisor, Department of Representation in Legal Capacity Procedures and Older Persons in the Legal Aid Administration, Ministry of Justice

In 2018, JDC-Israel Unlimited in partnership with the Israeli Ministry of Justice launched a three year training program, operated by Israel Elwyn. Between 2018 and 2021, more than 1,000 legal system representatives, mainly public lawyers from the Israeli Ministry of Justice, were provided with twelve unique tools and trainings (focused on cognitive and linguistic accessibility), to make the judiciary system more accessible for people with disabilities.

Problems Targeted

The legal system is not always accessible for persons with disabilities, making it difficult for them to play an active role in the legal process and to be justly represented.

Solution, Innovation and Impact

The Israeli Ministry of Justice and JDC-Israel Unlimited, launched a three-year pilot program called Accessible Legal Services for Persons with Disabilities, to train public lawyers from various units within the Israeli Ministry of Justice. The program, operated by Israel Elwyn, has two main components: (1) a comprehensive training for legal professionals; and (2) creating tools to facilitate communication with persons with disabilities. The program also established a new role – a Legal Disability Mentor – in charge of counseling and guiding hundreds of lawyers in special matters and questions regarding the representation of people with disabilities. The training provides professional knowledge regarding disabilities and how they might manifest in interactions with legal professionals and the legal system. The syllabus includes a description of disabilities, relevant legislations, and practical tools for optimal communication, such as a lexicon of easy language legal terms. In 2019 and 2020 the program had 320 participants each year. In 2021 this number more than doubled to 720 participants.

Funding, Outlook and Transferability

The pilot program, amounting €280,000 annually, is funded by JDC Israel Unlimited (60%) and the Ministry of Justice (40%). It is operated by Israel Elwyn. In the next three to five years, the Government of Israel will adopt the pilot program and will continue to train over 250 legal professionals each year. There have been additional requests for collaboration from other law-enforcement bodies, such as the Israeli police and prison service. After a successful transition to online training during COVID-19, the Ministry of Justice is considering a hybrid online/in-person platform for future training. The program model, tools, and training courses can be easily replicated, adapted and implemented locally, nationally and internationally.

Media

Pictures

In a bright conferece room with a beamer and a screen in the background, a man in a wheelchair holds a microphone and speaks to a large attentive audience, sitting on chairs. First hand experience can change the rigid procedures of law enforcement

Related information

Connections
2

Solutions with the same:

Country of Implementation

Israel

Region of Implementation

Asia & Pacific