On 27th November, 2020, the Hon. Minister of Justice and Law tabled the Legal Aid (Regulations), 2020. The Regulations were referred to the Portfolio Committee on Law and Public Safety Cluster for consideration in terms of Standing Order No. 100 (3). The Committee invited the Hon. Minister of Justice and Law to a briefing session in accordance with Standing Order No. 101 (2).
The Committee, therefore, presents this Report to the House for consideration.
- MINISTERIAL BRIEF
The Ministry stated that the Legal Aid Regulations, 2020 are made pursuant to Section 14 of the Legal Aid Act, 1978.
The Legal Aid Act of 1978 established the Legal Aid Clinic with the intention of providing for legal aid both in civil and criminal matters to impoverished Basotho. The Legal Aid Clinic improves access to justice by supporting unrepresented clients to navigate the justice system. However, there is a contribution that has to be made for these clients to access service.
The Legal Aid Regulations, 2020 intend to review and increase fees in schedule II and III of the Legal Aid (Amendment) Regulations, 2010. The schedules prescribe the amounts required when contributing towards the costs of legal aid as well as fees which may be paid to private legal practitioners in different Courts of Law.
- TYPOGRAPHICAL CORRECTIONS
The Committee made the following corrections from the Regulations:
- In Regulation 2, line 1, after “L”, delete the “full stop” for the word to read “Legal”;
- In Regulation 3 (c), line 1, after “A”, delete the word “maximum” and substitute with “ minimum”;
- In Regulation 4 (c), line 1, before the word “Court”, delete the word “High”.
The Committee recommends for the approval of these Regulations and the adoption of this Report by the House.