The UPF Legal Clinic coordinates an aid programme for Ukrainian refugees in Barcelona

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Solidarity, awareness, social justice, respect for human rights, legal and educational innovation, pro bono (free) defence, voluntary work and service-learning are some of the underlying values of this solidarity initiative.

Solidarity, awareness, social justice, respect for human rights, legal and educational innovation, pro bono (free) defence, voluntary work and service-learning are some of the values that underpin the UPF Legal Clinic , a solidarity initiative launched in 2018, as part of the Faculty of Law. The group has just begun a legal aid programme for Ukrainian refugees in Barcelona.

Teams of volunteer legal experts comprising students and teachers from the Faculty, alumni and lawyers have put together a special legal support programme for refugees arriving in Barcelona. The programme includes help in the application process for special residence permits and legal support in all other procedures required to settle in Spain (registration of residency, signing rental contracts, applying for benefits, opening bank accounts...).

The programme includes help in the application process for special residence permits and legal support in all other procedures required to settle in Spain

The Legal Clinic will deal with requests through a system of appointments made by email at: [email protected] Consultations can be in Ukrainian, Catalan, Spanish, English, Russian, German, French or Italian.

Also, under an agreement with the association Emergency Home , an NGO dedicated to finding temporary free housing for refugees of the war in Ukraine, the UPF Legal Clinic has drawn up temporary rent-free contracts for homes and rooms for refugees, in Spanish (throughout Spain) and Ukrainian.

As of Monday 4 April, a working group formed by eight students, a teacher and a voluntary lawyer will receive information on refugees at an email address especially set up for the purpose, before sending out the prepared contracts. Each student will be on duty one day each week (the 8th student serves as a substitute) with a commitment to returning fully completed contacts in less than 24 hours after receiving the information.

In order to deal with any queries that may arise, the members of the work team will be available for one day each week to help anyone looking for or offering accommodation. The students that make up the team are proficient in a number of different languages (including Russian and Ukrainian), which should avoid any potential communication difficulties.

UPF-s Legal Clinic is aimed at vulnerable groups and individuals who, because of their economic situation, lack the means to access appropriate legal advice. Primarily aimed at bringing the Faculty of Law closer to society, the Clinic is made up of students, teachers, alumni and volunteer lawyers, and its doors are open to whoever wants to make a voluntary social contribution at the University.

Inspired by practices in English-speaking countries, where legal clinics first began in the early 20th century, UPF follows a defence-based legal clinic model, the goal of which is to help students understand how a person’s defence works in a real context.

According to its director Maurici Pérez Simeón , a lecturer on Roman and Comparative Law at UPF, the Legal Clinic has both an academic and social impact. He points out that -from an academic perspective, the Legal Clinic allows students to see law in action and participate in the defence of a real case. From a social viewpoint, it offers appropriate legal advice to those people who, for whatever reason, are unable to access this-.