Access to Justice in pandemic times: the case of Paraná, Brazil

The study analyze how free legal assistance services are being provided to the vulnerable population of the State of Paraná, Brazil, during the COVID-19 pandemic. In Brazil, the Public Defender's Office is responsible for providing full and free legal assistance to all those who prove insufficient resources. However, according to the Map of Public Defenders in Brazil, in 2019 there was a deficit of 743 public defenders in the State of Paraná. Thus, other legal services providers are necessary, in order to promote access to justice, such as the Legal Practice Centers. The methodology used was based on data collection from the free legal assistance services in Paraná. The data reveal that, despite the efforts of the Public Defender's Office of the State of Paraná and some Legal Practices Centers to provide free legal services, these institutions have not satisfactorily fulfilled their role in promoting access to justice for the vulnerable population during the COVID-19 pandemic.