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Right To Legal Aid- A Constitutional Commitment

March 23,2019    by Anirudha Kotgire

The foundation of Legal Aid is based on the universally accepted principal of “fair trial”.

Legal Aid is the provision of assistance for ensuring equality before the law, the right to counsel and the right to a fair trial to people who are not in the capacity to afford the expenses for the same. The Models for Legal Aid include Duty Lawyers, Legal Clinics and Legal Aid Centres.

Legal Aid has played an important role in ensuring respect for economic, social, and cultural rights, which are related to social security, housing, social care, health and education provision for the underprivileged people. These rights emerged during the 1950’s and 1960’s when the role of welfare state changed and eventually in the 1970’s when the demand rose for the rights of the individuals to Legally enforce the economic, social, and cultural welfare provisions. In the 1980’s the role of classic welfare state was no longer regarded as necessarily positive, and welfare was increasingly provided by private entities.

Legal Aid has developed progressively in the 20th century. It has received great supports from various Legal institutions. It has been promoted by non-profitable organisations. Legal Aid services have helped solve the complex and distressing cases of the individuals.

Legal Aid camps are conducted in various parts of the country by the lawyers wherein people are made aware of their rights and duties and also, how they can avail the benefits provided to them under various laws.

Legal Aids targets include direct services by Legal Aid attorneys and pro bono volunteers, identifying and addressing systematic issues and delivering self-help community and education via workshops, telephone lines, medical/Legal partnerships, online information downloadable court forums which help people understand their Legal rights and principles of self-representation.

Raising awareness of Legal Aid services is necessary because it is seen the majority of low and moderate income individuals do not see the issues they are encountering as Legal problems. Ensuring Legal assistance to those in need and who seek it will not only help the individuals, but, also will save their income, which is generally not affordable by them to get access to Legal help. Legal Aid to the poor is necessary for the preservation of rule of law which is necessary for the existence of the orderly society. The judiciary too has taken an active step in promoting Legal Aid to the deprived and the needy thus by increasing the scope of free Legal Aid to a larger number of the poor.

Regardless of this there are a couple of obstacles in providing Legal Aid. The main problem is lack of awareness of the concept of Legal Aid. Apart from this there are insufficient lawyers for a large number of individuals seeking Legal Aid, the notion of lack of quality since it’s a free service and inefficiency of the Legal system.

LegalNextt aims to provide a path where the seeker of Legal Aid reaches the Judiciary at the right time and avails the help they require.