Author Topic: About Legal Aid Commission  (Read 1026 times)

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Offline sithari

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About Legal Aid Commission
« on: August 10, 2006, 03:21:16 PM »
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 1.         Introduction

2.        Objects of the Commission

3.        Power and Functions Commission

4.        The Constitution of the Commission   

 
   
    1.  Introduction   
  Although LAC is a statutory body primarily funded by the Ministry of Justice, the Government of Sri Lanka has no controlling interest in the Commission. The majority of members are appointed by the Bar Council which is empowered to give directives to the Legal Aid Commission. The Legal Aid Advisory Council is headed by His Lordship the Chief Justice and is independence of the Commission. This independence enables the Legal Aid Commission to prosecute the state in litigation such as fundamental rights and public interest litigation.   
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2. Objects of the Commission

   
  The object of the Commission are contained section 3 of the Act in the following manner;

   
(a) Provision of Legal advice;

   
(b) Fund the conduct of legal ad other proceeding for and on behalf of such persons;

   
(c) Provide the services for attorneys at law to represent them, and

   
(d) Provide such other assistance as may be necessary for the conduct of such proceeding.

   
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3. Power and Functions Commission

   
  The powers and functions of the Commissions are set out in section 4 of the Act, which states as follows :-

   
(a)  Ensure that legal aid is provided in the most effective, efficient and economical manner;

   
(b) Establish such number of regional or District Committees or Clinics as it considered necessary, to make legal aid available to as many persons as possible;

   
(c)  Determine the matters or classes of matters in respect of which legal aid may be given;

   
(d)  Determine guide-lines for the Administration of the Legal Aid Scheme and for the allocation of work and funds taking in to consideration;

   
  i) The need to maintain the independence of the professions;

   
  ii) The disability of an assisted person being refereed to an Attorney at Law of his choose;

   
  iii) The disability of the services of paid legal staff being made use of where appropriate in the grant of legal aid and the policy and conditions in that regard.

   
  iv) The need for legal assistance to be readily available and easily accessible to deserving persons.

   
(e) Determine, having regard to the funds available and taking into account all relevant recommendations, guide-lines to be observed in respect of payment of costs and disbursement by assisted persons where proceedings are decided, compromised or resolved;

   
(f)  Consult with Government and local authorities, educational institutions and community, neighborhood, professional, Social and other groups having an interest in any aspect f the provision of legal aid;

   
(g)  Promote, establish, finance and supervise research in respect of legal aid;

   
(h)  Initiate and carry out educational programmes designed to promote the understanding -

 
  i) Of the members of the legal profession in respect of the need for a scheme of legal aid and their obligations and duties in the maintenance thereof and participation therein;

   
  ii) Of the members of the public, who have special needs in that respect, of their rights, powers, privileges and duties under the laws of Sri Lanka.

   
(i) Establish, administer, develop, and co-operate in experimental programmes, law clinics and projects in respect of any aspects of the provision of legal aid and for such purposes employ staff necessary to initiate, develop and operate the programmes and projects;

 
(j)  Receive and encourage proposals from the public for new programmes and projects;

   
(k)  Co-operate with educational institutions, and bodies in respect of the education and training of persons providing legal aid;

   
(l)  Providing information to the public on the availability of legal aid;

   
(m)  Make recommendations to law reform agencies, both in Sri Lanka and abroad and to the state;

   
(n)  Make an annual report to the Government of the republic of Sri Lanka and interim report to the Minister of Justice and the Legal Aid Advisory council of the work done by the commission;

   
(o)  Subject to the provisions of this law, employ such person and to all such acts as may be necessary to carry out the objects and to exercise the powers of the commission;

   
(p)  Own, purchase, alienate, or mortgage any movable or immovable property;

   
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4.  The Constitution of the Commotion

 
(a) The Legal Aid Commission (LAC) is a statutory body established under the Legal Aid Law number 27 of 1978 (herein after refer to as the Act) with the object to operate through out Sri Lanka efficient legal aid scheme to assist deserving persons.

 
(b)  The Legal Aid Commission consists of 9 members, 3 of whom are appointed by the Minister of Justice and the other 6 members are appointed by the Bar Council of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka (BASL)

 

   Section 14 of the Act providers for the Establishment of the Legal Aid Advisory Council consisting of 30 members. This includes 9 members of the Legal Aid Commission. The Legal Aid Advisory Council is presided over by His Lordship the Chief Justice.

 
    Section 13 of the Act empowers the Bar Council to give advice and directions to the Legal Aid Commission in the exercise if their powers and functions.

 
    The Legal Aid Advisory Council is vested with the powers inter alia to examine and comment on all reports submitted by the Commission.

 
(c) Although LAC is a statutory body primarily funded by the Ministry of Justice, the Government of Sri Lanka has no controlling interest in the Commission. The majority of members are appointed by the Bar Council, which is empowered to give directives to the Legal Aid Commission. The Legal Aid Advisory Council is headed by his Lordship the Chief Justice and is independent of government control and the Legal Aid Commission Act has guaranteed the independence of the Commission. This independence enables the Legal Aid Commission to prosecute the state in litigation such as fundamental rights and public interest.
 
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