Macedonian Young Lawyers Association (MYLA) is а non-governmental, nonprofit and non-political professional organization of lawyers established in December 2003 aiming to strengthen the contribution of the young lawyers in promoting the legal profession and fulfilling the principle of the rule of law.
Primarily founded on grounds to guide young lawyers towards their legal careers from the point of graduation, during the years MYLA has transformed itself into an unique organization that actively protects human rights and the rule of law principle through utilization of the knowledge and capacity of young lawyers.
In 2004, immediately after it was established, MYLA started participating in the preparation of the “Legal profession reform INDEX” in cooperation with the American Bar Association – Central and Eastern European Legal Initiative. Cooperation with ABA-CEELI continued in the following years in projects related to the legal profession, as well as combating corruption in local communities.
In 2005, MYLA began a fruitful cooperation with the Council of Europe by organizing advanced training for lawyers and legal professionals on issues related to the legal protection of human rights within the system, established with the European Convention of Human Rights. From 2005 to 2013 MYLA has organised more than 13 trainings which were attended by more than 300 lawyers and legal professionals.
The same year MYLA had established cooperation with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) which in the following years would be effectuated through organizing trainings for the Law on Criminal procedure, continuous education for young lawyers and publication of a manual on legal skills for defense lawyers in criminal procedures.
In 2006, MYLA started implementing activities for protection of the right to access to information in cooperation with the Foundation Open Society Macedonia (FOSM) and Swedish Helsinki Committee (SHC). Monitoring of the implementation of the Law on free access to information of public character, training for lawyers and NGOs, and also legal assistance in cases where access to information would be denied.
In 2007, MYLA expanded its scope of work regarding the right of access to justice through activities aimed at adopting an efficient Law on Legal Aid for the impoverished population. Simultaneously with the adoption of the Law in 2009, MYLA begun a process of monitoring of the implementation of the Law in cooperation with FOSM and SHC which later, with the support of FOSM, grew into a broad project with a continuous implementation and which includes: monitoring of the implementation of the Law, preparation of an analysis, lobbing and advocacy, provision of preliminary legal aid, as well as promotion of the right to free legal aid. In 2011, MYLA beccame an authorized organization for provision of legal aid.
In 2008, MYLA started with the implementation of activities in the field of legal protection from discrimination and unequal treatment. In this area, MYLA is implementing trainings for lawyers, preparation of reports and analyses, strategic litigation and promotion and popularization of legal mechanisms for combating discrimination.
In 2009, in cooperation with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy, International Bar Association and the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia, MYLA implemented the project “The role of the parliament in maintaining the rule of law principle and implementation of the constitutional obligations and human rights guaranties”.
In 2010, MYLA started cooperatng with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the provision of legal assistance, representation and integration of refugees, asylum seekers and stateless persons which continues to this day.
In 2012, MYLA was identified by the Judicial Strengthening project funded by USAID, as a professional organization of lawyers and support was provided for institutional strengthening.