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Equal Before the Law? A Study of How Citizens Experience Access to Justice in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan

In mid-September 2010, the Eurasia Foundation (EF) launched a six-month research and assessment project to prepare a multi-year access to justice program in Central Asia for the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs (EBL). In total, the research project conducted 1,904 completed interviews, around 80 semi-structured expert interviews and 9 focus groups. The research results provide an overview of legal problems in the countries and of the current operation of the legal system, as well as helping us to illuminate six key barriers to justice.

1. Unwillingness to involve others in solving disputes
2. Poor knowledge of the law
3. Lack of resources
4. Practical hurdles to using the courts
5. Corruption and perceived corruption
6. Structural bias in the legal system.

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