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Legislative Committee’s Consultative Meeting with Bhutan National Legal Institute on Legal Aid to Indigent Person

Posted on :12 July 2017

The Legislative Committee (LC) continued its third consultative meeting on the “Policy Review of Legal Aid to Indigent Person” with the Drangpoens from the Bhutan National Legal Institute (BNLI) today.

The Drangpoens from BNLI shared that though the State provides annual budget for legal aid and that different laws have different provisions concerning legal aid, no agency has been identified/authorized by any of the existing laws with the responsibility for implementing the provisions on legal aid. There is no procedure or guidelines for availing legal aid and moreover, people are unaware of the existence of such legal aid provided by the State. They highlighted that the main aim of the provision of legal aid is to provide access to justice, but they reiterated that there is no appropriate authority or agency to take ownership of the legal aid aspect. One of the highlights of the meeting was the need of a clear definition of who should qualify as an indigent person and who is eligible to receive such legal aid.

Deliberations were held with regard to possibility of creating a small interim Cell mandated to evaluate the provisions of legal aid to indigent persons within the jurisdictions of Judiciary (such as Supreme Court) or whether the Bar Council would be the appropriate agency to provide legal aid instead of the establishment of a separate agency.





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