The National Assembly discussed the draft revised Law on Legal Aid
On 1 June 2017, the 14th National Assembly (NA) discussed the draft revised Law on Legal Aid, within the framework of its ongoing third session in Hanoi under the chair of Chairwoman Nguyen Thi Kim Ngan.
Speaking at the plenary session, Minister of Justice Le Thanh Long stressed that by this amendment, the Government would like to confirm legal aid nature which is the responsibility of the State and to improve the quality of legal aid services so that beneficiaries can receive the same quality of legal aid as others. This amendment also ensures feasibility of the Law, which is appropriate to existing conditions, helping to improve efficiency of the state budget in accordance with Vietnam's international commitments.
The Bill also significantly improves procedural processes, such as extending and accepting all forms of legal aid requests. Accordingly, applicants can apply legal aid requests directly or via postal and electronic media. In addition, the Bill will expand types of beneficiaries, from 6 to 14 with 31 million people benefiting from the legal aid policy, Minister Le Thanh Long added.
At the plenary session, Chairman of the NA’s Law Committee Nguyen Khac Dinh presented a report on adjustments to the draft revised Law on Legal Aid based on collected opinions. According to the Standing Committee of the NA, the identification of legal aid beneficiaries needs to be based on specific principles and criteria, in accordance with the Party's policies and current laws; and the socio-economic conditions of the country, ensuring the feasibility of the revised Law. Hence, the Bill has been reviewed and revised to ensure the inheritance of provisions of the current Law on legal aid beneficiaries under the Law on Legal Aid of 2006, other laws and related legal documents in accordance with the socio-economic conditions of the country. Regulations on legal aid beneficiaries set in the Bill, according to the Standing Committee of the National Assembly, ensure consistency in the legal system, and the feasibility of using State and social resources for the assurance of legal aid activities in a qualitative and effective manner. Once the socio-economic conditions are improved, further research will be undertaken to add new legal aid beneficiaries to the Law on Legal Aid.
Legislators then gave opinions to contentious contents of the Bill, focusing on its structure, principles of legal assistance, the State’s relevant policies, a code of ethics of legal assistants, financial resources for the work and legal assistance in poor localities.
They also mulled over legal aid beneficiaries, the operation of the State’s legal aid centers and the scope of legal assistance and responsibility of concerned agencies.
On the same day, Minister of Transport Truong Quang Nghia presented a proposal on making the work on compensation and relocation of residents into a separate component in the project on building the Long Thanh International Airport./.