On the morning of June 20, 2017, with 100% of delegate approvals, The National Assembly adopted the Law on Legal Aid (amended), consisting of 8 chapters, 48 articles with many new important contents.
The Law on Legal Aid (amended) is designed to overcome shortcomings and inadequacies in legal aid implementation; To create a legal framework for the sustainable development of legal aid in professionalizing and effectively process using the resources of the State and society; To ensure the feasibility, to make fundamental and breakthrough change in the quality improvement of legal aid services.
Presenting reports on the receipt, explanation and revision of the draft Law on Legal Aid (amended), Chairman of the Law Committee, Mr.Dinh Nguyen Khac said that National Assembly delegates had agreed with the draft Law on Legal Aid (amended), moreover, they had contributed enthusiasm and responsibility opinions. The Standing Committee of the National Assembly instructed the agencies to seriously study and acquire comments of National Assembly delegates.
The Law on Legal Aid (amended) has a number of new points as follows:
Firstly, there is a distinction between legal aid organized by the State and voluntary legal services of social organizations. Legal aid activities implemented by the State must comply with the provisions of this Law on legal aid beneficiaries, legal aid providers, implementers, itinerary forms and areas of legal aid. The legal aid organizations and providers need to ensure that they meet the standards and conditions to ensure the quality of legal aid services. The participation in legal aid activities of lawyer organizations and legal consulting organizations shall be effected through the mechanism of signing legal aid contracts and registration of participation in legal aid services. Organizations which sign legal aid contracts shall be entitled to remuneration and expenses for the implementation of legal aid cases. The provision of voluntary legal services by the society (according to the Law on Lawyers, Decree 77/2008 / ND-CP on legal consultancy) shall not comply with regulations of this Law.
Secondly, in order to enhance the ability of legal aid implementation for the people , to overcome the shortcomings of the legal aid needs and to ensure legal aid beneficiaries in accordance with the Law when a specific case arises. The Law on Legal Aid (amended) states that legal aid is the responsibility of the State, and the State has the responsibility to allocate annual budget. "The state budget is allocated in the annual budget estimate by the agency which perform the state management of legal aid according to the provisions of law on the state budget. " In addition, for localities which have not yet self-financed their budget, the Law on Legal Aid also provides for priority allocation of budget from the annual budget supplement to support the implementation of the complex and typical case.
Thirdly, expanding the scope of legal aid beneficiaries. This issue has been received and adjusted many times. Whereby, the scope of legal aid beneficiaries have been expanded more than the current law (from 6 groups to 14 groups).
Fourthly, improving the quality of services and professionalize legal aid implementation by standardizing legal aid providers and setting standards for legal aid organizations to mobilize law firms and legal consultancy organizations which participate in the implementation of quality legal aid. Regulations of legal aid collaborators are inherited on the basis of selectively qualified persons with legal qualifications, experience and time to ensure participation in legal aid activities in a substance and effective manner.
Fifthly, enhancing the role of the provincial Department of Justice in assisting the provincial people's committees in performing state management of legal aid by grasping requests for legal aid and practical situations. In order to select contracts for the implementation of legal aid with law firms or legal consultancy organizations in order to ensure that the legal aid beneficiaries in the locality are entitled to the right to legal aid.
Sixthly, the responsibilities of the proceedings-conducting agencies for legal aid services should be clearly defined that: Within the ambit of their tasks and powers, the proceedings-conducting agencies are responsible for creating conditions for the legal aid beneficiaries to be entitled the right to legal aid and creating conditions for the legal aid-providers to participate in legal proceedings according to the provisions of law and at the same time prescribe the time limit which allow agencies or persons with competent legal proceedings shall notify the local State legal aid centers of the legal aid requests of the accused, victims or victims being legal aid beneficiaries.
Seventhly, to streamline and raise the operational efficiency of legal aid organizations. On reviewing the practical implementation of the Law on Legal Aid in 2006, in order to ensure compliance with the Political Bureau's Resolution No. 39-NQ / TW, the Law on Legal Aid (revised) stipulates the review, Re-organization, merger or dissolution of branches has been established, ensuring operational efficiency. In cases where it is really necessary to meet the needs of the people, the presidents of the provincial-level People's Committees shall decide to set up new branches. Only established branches are established in districts in areas with extremely difficult socio-economic conditions, with no convenient transportation to state legal aid centers and have not had any law firms or legal consultancy organizations which participate in legal aid.