aid services


8.79 lakh people received govt’s legal aid since 2009

  • May 26, 2023

8.79 lakh people received govt’s legal aid since 2009

DHAKA, April 27, 2023 (BSS) – As part of the present government’s commitment to provide justice for all, it is providing free legal aid from 2009 through the National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO) and so far 8,79,929 people received its services.

“Apart from these, NLASO provided free legal advice to 3, 53, 656 people in this period,” Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq told BSS on the eve of National Legal Aid Services Day, to be observed tomorrow.

The law minister further said the then Awami League government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formulated Legal Aid Services Act, 2000, and formed NLASO to provide legal assistance to the people who are financially insolvent, penniless or unable to get justice because of various socio- economic reasons.

“But the issue of providing legal aid remained neglected from 2001 to 2008. After Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina formed government for the second time in 2009, implementation of that act gained momentum,” he added.

Narrating the achievements of NLASO to BSS, Law Ministry spokesperson Dr Md Rezaul Karim said the organization managed to realize Taka 134.90 crore as compensation for the victim parties and resolved a total of 82, 588 cases or disputes through alternative dispute resolution (ADR) from 2009 to March, 2023.

“The NLASO, through its 64 district legal aid offices, provided legal services to 4, 50, 067 people, of which 1, 05, 650 received the services in prisons. A total of 1, 53,413 people were given free legal aid though toll -free national helpline ‘16430’ since its launching in 2016,” the law ministry official added.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on the National Legal Aid Day on April 28, 2016, launched the service and it became more and more popular with

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National Legal Aid Services Day observed in Netrakona

  • May 23, 2023

National Legal Aid Services Day observed in Netrakona

NETRAKONA April 28, 2023 (BSS) – National Legal Aid Services Day-2023 was observed in the districts as elsewhere in the country today with a call to uphold the rule of law, human rights and ensure justice for all.

This year the theme of the day is ‘materializing Bangabandhu’s dream, opening the door to free legal services’.

The District Legal Aid Committee took various programs marking the day.

As part of the program, a colorful rally was brought out from the district judge’s court premises in the morning that ended at the same place after parading the main streets of the town.

The rally was followed by a meeting on the district judge‘s court premises.

District Legal Aid Committee chairman and senior district and session judge Mohammad Shajahan Kabir presided over the function.

The meeting was addressed, among others, by judge of district women and children repression prevention tribunal court Mohammad Iftekhar Bin Aziz, chairman of Netrakona zila parishad Asit Kumar Sarker Sajal, superintendent of police Mohammad Foyaz Ahmed, chief judicial magistrate Mustak Ahmed, additional district magistrate Mohammad Ashik Nur, mayor of Netrakona municipality Nazrul Islam Khan and president of Awami League Netrakona district unit Advocate Amirul Islam.

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Legal aid to poor jail inmates urged

  • May 10, 2023

Rights lawyers have called upon the government to provide more legal assistance to the poor inmates languishing in jails without trial.

They made the call as the country is set to observe the National Legal Aid Day 2023 today.

The government can create a mechanism so that every lawyer could be obliged to represent the poor in the courts, according to the lawyers.

The rights lawyers mentioned that many poor people were languishing in jails without trial after being accused of various crimes.

‘As per the law, every lawyer in developed countries needs to fight a certain number of cases in favor of poor people facing various criminal charges,’ said jurist Shahdeen Malik.

He said that every bar association should introduce such practice so every lawyer must take at least one case to represent the poor facing criminal cases.

Shahdeen said that in foreign countries free legal services were provided mostly to the poor people facing criminal cases.

He added that the citizens’ liberty would be curtailed if they were detained in jail for a long time.

Until April 2023, the National Legal Aid Services Organization provided legal assistance to 3.53 lakh people across the country since 2009, said a release issued by the law ministry on Thursday.

The release said that a total of 82, 588 disputes or cases were disposed of through the out-of-court settlements.

It mentioned that Tk 134.93 crore were realized and distributed to the victims in most dowry-related cases.

Rights lawyer ZI Khan Panna told New Age that donors increased funds to state-owned legal aid service providers as they are getting increased response from poor people.

The government is set to observe the national Legal Aid Day today.

Legal aid panel lawyer at Supreme Court Khurshid Alam Khan said that more skilled lawyers should

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More efforts needed to ensure legal aid for the poor

  • May 4, 2023

THIS is concerning that poor prisoners suffer greatly in accessing justice. Although the government and some non-governmental organizations have provided legal aid services for a long time, many poor prisoners do not receive legal aid because of a number of issues and complications; and, they keep languishing in prisons without trial. The government in 2000 introduced the Legal Aid Services Act 2000 ‘to provide for legal aid to the litigants who are incapable of seeking justice due to financial insolvency, destitution, helplessness and for various socioeconomic conditions.’ The government later established the National Legal Aid Services Organization, which is reported to have provided legal assistance for 3.53 lakh people since its establishment in 2009. The government has also established legal aid offices in all the 64 districts to offer legal aid and, yet, it has, as legal rights activists say, so far failed to provide legal aid for hundreds of poor inmates. The issues said to be holding back the full implementation of the legal aid law are many. Some of them pertain to the definition and mode of action of the law and the implementing agencies.

The law specifies that people will be eligible for legal aid if their annual income is not above Tk 150,000 in cases of the Supreme Court and Tk 100,000 in cases of other courts. Experts say that this criterion is flawed as there are many prisoners whose income might cross the stipulated mark but they might still be in need of legal aid. Other criteria — people who are physically or mentally handicapped and incapable of earning, unemployed or receiving old-age honorarium, poor women who hold vulnerable group feeding cards, women and children who are victims of trafficking, women and children who are acid victims, members of national minorities, homeless people,

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Defense lawyers threaten job action over Legal Aid Alberta funding

  • August 9, 2022

Three organizations that represent hundreds of defense lawyers in Alberta are threatening job action if the provincial government does not increase funding for Legal Aid Alberta.

The Criminal Defense Lawyers’ Association of Calgary, the Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association of Edmonton, and the Southern Alberta Defense Lawyers’ Association of Lethbridge sent letters to Justice Minister Tyler Shandro in mid-July requesting a funding discussion before July 29.

The associations say the government is refusing to properly fund Legal Aid Alberta (LAA), a non-profit organization that provides legal services to Albertans in family, domestic violence, child welfare, immigration and criminal defense cases.

The defense lawyers I Alberta lawyers who take legal aid cases are underpaid compared to those in Manitoba, British Columbia and Ontario and that many have become crown prosecutors to obtain better compensation.

“The most minimal provision of legal aid services in Alberta is at a breaking point,” the groups said in a joint press release Saturday.

The associations plan to meet on Wednesday night to discuss and vote on next steps, including the withdrawal of their services.

Danielle Boisvert is president of the Criminal Trial Lawyers’ Association in Edmonton. Her association is one of three calling on the Alberta government for Legal Aid Alberta funding increases. (Submitted by Danielle Boisvert)

Danielle Boisvert, president of the CTLA in Edmonton, said the job action “would have a serious, direct and immediate impact on everybody else in the justice system.”

She said without legal aid lawyers, many more Albertans would try to represent themselves in court, leading to more work for crown prosecutors and judges and increasing the possibility of wrongful convictions.

Pay discrepancies

LAA, which is mainly funded by the province, served more than 34,000 clients last year.

Boisvert said legal aid cases make up about half of most defense lawyers’ workload,

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