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Public Defender Society of Nepal (PDS-Nepal)

Kathmandu, Nepal
Joined July 2020

PDS-Nepal, a NGO, with a primary mission to ensure fair and effective access to justice; upholds human right to a fair trial and life and liberty, by defending poor, vulnerable persons in Nepal.

Presence in: Nepal
Focus: Criminal Justice, Gender-based violence, Generalist Legal Services

The Public Defender Society of Nepal (PDS-Nepal) is a Nepali nonprofit non-governmental organization with a primary mission to ensure fair and effective access to justice, to develop a public defender system in Nepal, and to work to develop the efficiency and sustainability of a Nepal public defender system. PDS-Nepal was spun off from ILF-Nepal, a project of The International Legal Foundation, USA, on April 1, 2017.

PDS-Nepal upholds the human right to a fair trial and life and liberty, by defending poor, marginalized and vulnerable persons accused of criminal offenses, regardless of age, gender and ethnicity. It works to create lasting change in the criminal justice system of Nepal by intensively training and mentoring Nepali defense lawyers to become courageous, proactive advocates for their clients’ rights, while simultaneously working to educate justice sector stakeholders, reform the legal system, and strengthen the rights of the accused, with the ultimate goal of ensuring that every person suspected or accused of a crime in Nepal has access to effective legal representation. Its primary mission is to provide meaningful and effective criminal defense services to the poor and marginalized accused persons through seven offices in Kathmandu, Janakpur, Birgunj, Hetauda, Bhairahawa, Nepulgunj and  Mahendrangar which are strategically located throughout Nepal to maximize cost-effectiveness as well as geographic reach. Recently working only in two places- Kathmandu and Janakpur

It also works with government, civil society, and justice sector actors to promote change on a broader scale through training and capacity-building. By working collaboratively with others to implement groundbreaking projects and develop more sophisticated understandings of the right to legal aid, PDS-Nepal is creating impacts which multiply throughout the justice system.

People Associated With This Organization

Ajay Shankar Jha

Public Defender Society of Nepal...
Joined July 2020
Interests: Criminal Justice, Gender-based violence, Women's Rights
I, Ajay Shankar Jha "Rupesh" is the Executive Director of PDS-Nepal, an organization spun off from the International Legal Foundation Nepal (ILF-Nepal). I joined ILF-Nepal in 2008 after working for eight years as a private advocate. Besides providing direct legal representation as a trained defense lawyer, I am also actively involved in conducting a series of training to defense lawyers of Nepal. As an expert, I has provided suggestions on the draft handbook named "Early access to legal aid in criminal justice processes: a handbook for policymakers and practitioners", developed by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). And on the draft of "Model Law on Legal Aid in Criminal Justice System", developed by (UNODC). I has also served as the Chairman of the Janakpur Youth Club and was a founding member of the Mithila People Service Council. I obtained my Bachelor’s in Law from Tribhuwan University in 2000 & Legisum Laterum Masterom (LLM) in Criminal Law & Justice from Purbanchanl University and is a member of the Nepal Bar Association.

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