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USAID RULE OF LAW PROGRAM
USAID სამართლის უზენაესობის პროგრამა

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19 Oct 2023

ILF Fellow Ingrid Hess Commences Work in Akhaltsikhe

The USAID Rule of Law Program is dedicated to enhancing access to justice for all in Georgia. This program offers steadfast support to the Legal Aid Service (LAS), leveraging international expertise and providing essential technical assistance.

Ingrid Hess, the second fellow from the International Legal Foundation (ILF), began her collaboration with LAS in Akhaltsikhe in October 2023. Ms. Hess is following the footsteps of the first fellow, Kate Conyers, who arrived in Georgia during the spring and for three months worked closely with the LAS Kutaisi Bureau in the western part of the country.

Ms. Hess will spend the next three months in Akhaltsikhe, where she will be actively engaging with the Akhaltsikhe Bureau of LAS. Her primary role will involve mentoring LAS lawyers and sharing her wealth of experience. Prior to her journey to Akhaltsikhe, on October 4, she convened a meeting with David Simonia, Director of LAS, and Mikheil Khurtsidze, Deputy Director of LAS, to align their expectations and goals for the upcoming partnership.

On October 9, Ms. Hess, alongside Allan Dahl, ILF Program Director in Georgia, met with U.S. Judge Tim Baland, who was participating in a judicial mentoring mission in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region, specifically in Akhaltsikhe. During this meeting, Judge Baland offered invaluable insights based on his experiences. On the same day, Ms. Hess and Allan Dahl paid a visit to the Akhaltsikhe Bureau of LAS, where they met with Davit Zaridze, the Head of LAS' Akhaltsikhe Bureau, as well as LAS lawyers. Their visit demonstrated their strong commitment to the promising collaboration already underway.

“It is a great honor for me to have been invited to work with lawyers in the Legal Aid office in Akhaltsikhe. It is my hope that with my extensive legal experience, I can support the lawyers and that this exchange of information and understanding will ultimately benefit Georgian Legal Aid clients.” – says Ingrid Hess.

Ms. Hess brings with her an illustrious legal career spanning over 25 years, during which she gained extensive experience in handling criminal, civil, and administrative cases. Her diverse practical experience includes civil law, child protection issues, reparations for First Nations Claimants in the Residential School Independent Assessment Process, and human rights complaints.

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