Budget 2019

Fiji Budget 2019: Investing in Access to Justice

While investing in Legal Aid Commission does not mean a return in monetary terms for Government, this investment has paid off when we see how many more Fijians have been assisted by the Commission. In the current financial year, the Commission was given $10.3million.
21 May 2019 18:14
Fiji Budget 2019: Investing in Access to Justice
Director Legal Aid, Barrister & Solicitor, Commissioner for Oaths Shahin Ali on May 20, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

In the last five years we have seen more Legal Aid Commission offices open up countrywide. This means more people can access their services, if they qualify for it.

While investing in Legal Aid Commission does not mean a return in monetary terms for Government, this investment has paid off when we see how many more Fijians have been assisted by the Commission. In the current financial year, the Commission was given $10.3million.

Part of this money is spent providing all Fijians the opportunity to have their Will made free of cost.

For this, there is no eligibility test and during a roadshow which starts on this Saturday in Vuci Road, Nausori, Fijians can reach out to the team, have their Will made and seek free legal advice from the team which will be headed by the Director Shahin Ali.

The Legal Aid Commission is a State funded independent institution established to provide legal assistance to persons who are not able to afford the services of a private lawyer.

Apart from representing persons in Court, the Commission has the responsibility of conducting awareness programmes.

“In its endeavour to reach out to as many Fijians as possible, the Commission has embarked on an awareness campaign. This awareness campaign is strategically driven to empower Fijians, especially the most vulnerable in our society such as women, children, the elderly, persons with special needs, and so on,” Mr Ali said.

The Table above shows the increasing trend for the First Hour Procedure Programme from November 2016 to March 2019. A total number of 3,888 advisory service has been provided under the First Hour Procedure. The table also demonstrates the percentage change in monthly service provided. Source: Legal Aid Commission

The Table above shows the increasing trend for the First Hour Procedure Programme from November 2016 to March 2019. A total number of 3,888 advisory service has been provided under the First Hour Procedure. The table also demonstrates the percentage change in monthly service provided. Source: Legal Aid Commission

First Hour Procedure:

International best practices dictate that when an accused it taken in for questioning, a free lawyer be made available in the first hour to ensure the accused is well aware of his or her rights. Legal Aid Commission has led the charge on this front.

Feedbackjyotip@fijisun.com.fj



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