24 Nov Notes on Free Legal Aid
More than 80 per cent of the Legal Aid Committee`s budget is allocated to the provision of defence lawyers in criminal cases. This is generally due to two causes in South Africa: the majority of crimes are committed by the poor, and defence in criminal cases takes precedence over civil prosecution.  Prior to the adoption of the 1994 Constitution, 80% of all those convicted of crimes were unrepresented, as there was no right to defence and no obligation on the part of the government to provide such a defence. Following the adoption of the 1994 Constitution, the South African government was obliged to establish organisations such as the Legal Aid Council to facilitate access to legal aid.  Note: If fraud or misrepresentation is committed in order to obtain the repeal of the law. After that, the service can be withdrawn at any time and the person faces legal penalties. Legal aid is closely linked to the welfare state and the provision of legal aid by a State is influenced by attitudes towards social protection. Legal aid is state social assistance for people who would not otherwise be able to afford legal aid. Legal aid also helps to enforce social provisions by giving persons entitled to social benefits, such as social housing, access to legal advice and justice. In 2019, FLAG freely represented Maria Ressa in her defamation lawsuit against 16th President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, as it was her revelations about Duterte`s war on drugs that sparked global debates about the potential legal implications of Duterte`s actions.  Legal aid is indeed provided by the provincial government within provincial jurisdiction over the administration of justice.  For example, Legal Aid Ontario provides legal services to residents of Ontario, the Legal Services Society provides them to residents of British Columbia, and the Commission des services juridiques does the same in the province of Quebec. Article 39-A of the Constitution guarantees equality of justice and free legal aid.
Therefore, this section of the Constitution provides the basis for the enactment of the Legal Services Authorities Act 1987. The main motive was to provide a free legal service to the poor part of society. The Government has also appointed the “Committee for the Implementation of Legal Aid Schemes” (CILAS). The committee was chaired by Justice P.N. Bhagwati to supervise and implement legal aid programmes that can be applied in the country. Legal aid boards have been established in various states and UTs. Immigration – Agencies that provide free legal immigration services can help with visas, asylum, and passports for permanent resident status, and explain special employment rules for immigrants. Some people may not know they qualify for free legal services – and even fewer people know what free legal aid actually covers. In 2020, Duterte created a new law called the Anti-Terrorism Act, which would arrest any dissident based on vague definitions in the law of who could be classified as a “terrorist.” This provoked protests from the masses and the president of the FLAG, Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno. FLAG, along with other columnists, statesmen and political prisoners, responded with G.R. lawsuit No. 252741 against Duterte`s executive secretary, Salvador Medialdea, for reasons and the rationality of the law.
Among the impugned provisions is Article 29 on detention without warrant, in which a suspect can be arrested without warrant and detained for up to 24 days, dating back to the time of martial law under Marcos, which made possible the dissemination of development legal aid.  While the type of free legal aid available varies from state to state and agency to agency, below is a summary of the types of cases that some free legal aid agencies may cover. Article 22 provides protection against arrest and detention in certain cases. It follows that a person who is in pre-trial detention without having been informed cannot be deprived of the right to be consulted and defended by a lawyer of his choice. In July 1997, the Australian Government amended its arrangements for direct funding of legal aid services for Commonwealth legal affairs. Under this agreement, states and territories fund support for their own laws. In 2013, a murder trial in the Supreme Court of Victoria was postponed because legal aid was not available.  This has been cited as the result of reduced government funding for legal aid agencies in Australia and has led to a growing popularity of online legal aid resources such as the Law Handbook and LawAnswers.   Legal aid is governed by the Access to Justice Act, 1999 and complementary legislation, most recently the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Offender Punishment Act, 2012. Some complain that cuts to legal aid have prevented the poorest from obtaining justice.
 Finally, most free legal aid cases do not accept “fee-generating” cases, such as conditional cases where fees are paid out of funds awarded to the winning party. If you believe your case will generate income in the form of settlement or damages (such as personal injury), you should contact a personal injury lawyer in your area. In Canada, the modern legal aid system developed after the federal government introduced a cost-sharing system between the federal and provincial governments in the early 1970s. The federal financial contribution was initially set at 50% of the cost of the legal aid system, but this level of funding has fluctuated over the years.  Legal aid was originally introduced by the Legal Aid and Advice Act 1949.  In 2009, legal aid in England and Wales cost taxpayers £2 billion a year – a higher per capita expenditure than anywhere else in the world – and was available to about 29% of adults.  Section 39A of the Indian Constitution provides for equal justice and free legal aid: In July 2004, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the lack of legal aid in defamation cases, as was the case under the Legal Aid Act 1988 in force at the time of the McLibel case, could violate the right of an accused. The Access to Justice Act 1999 contains exceptional funding provisions allowing the Lord Chancellor to authorise the funding of legal aid in cases which otherwise fall outside the scope of the legal aid scheme. A defendant in a similar situation to the McLibel defendant could potentially obtain legal aid if the application met the exceptional funding criteria. South Africa is a country that has rebuilt its legal systems to emulate Western democratic countries and create a more just and equitable judicial system.   This section emphasizes that free legal aid is an inalienable part of a “reasonable, fair and just” trial, without which a person with an economic or other disability would be denied the opportunity to obtain justice.  In India, the right to free legal aid was defined and extensively highlighted in the 14th report of the Legal Commission.
Also in 1969, the law was highlighted by the Law Commission and was to be available before the Court of Session in all avenues. In England and Wales, legal aid is administered by the Legal Aid Agency (until 31 March 2013 by the Legal Services Commission) and is available for most criminal cases and many types of civil cases. Exceptions include defamation, most cases of personal injury (which are now dealt with under contingency fee agreements, a type of contingency expense) and cases related to the operation of a business.