The Pros And Cons Of Legal Aid

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Legal Aid is an important step in the direction of providing basic rights to the citizenry. The concept of legal aid has attained worldwide attention. In its common sense , it means the assistance provided by the society to its weaker members in their effort to protect their rights and liberties.
It can be defined as the professional legal assistance given either free or for a nominal sum, to indigent persons in need of such help. Legal Service includes the rendering of any service in the conduct of any case or other legal proceeding before any court or other authority or tribunal and the giving of advice on any legal matter.

Article 14 of International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) provides that, “All
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Provision of legal aid should not be limited to those who were normally classed as poor but should include a wider income group. Those who could not afford to pay anything for legal aid should receive it free of cost; there should be a scale of contribution for those who could pay something towards costs. The cost of the legal aid scheme should be borne by the state. Civil legal aid should be administered by the Law Society and criminal legal aid by the courts. Barristers and Solicitors should receive adequate remuneration for their…show more content…
Point out to them, the nominal winner is often a real loser, in fees, expenses and waste of time. As a peacemaker the lawyer has a superior opportunity of being a good person.”

The history of legal aid movement in the U.S.A is not as old as in England. However, the American Laws regarding legal aid have developed more or less symmetrically out of the early 17th century English practice. The first organized efforts were made to provide legal aid to German immigrants in 1876. In 1872 the main federal statute covering poor man's suit was enacted but this statute was not applicable in appeals. This defect was removed by amending the statute in 1910. In 1916 the congress passed an Act for the benefit of poor seamen.

Legal Aid was a diffused movement till 1919, when Reginald Heber Smith an advocate with the Boston Legal Aid Society published a work "Justice and the Poor" which provides outstanding new ideas. The important idea was that there was a collective social responsibility on the Bar to provide opportunities for the unrepresented masses to secure access to the justice system and it was indeed a crucial development in Public International
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