a) To increase legal representation for members of the public who are unable to afford legal representation but require the same. The current legal aid framework is administered by the Chief Registrar’s Office in assigning only capital offence cases to counsel on rotational basis; and
b) To instill a spirit of public duty to assist such members of the public.
B. SCOPE OF THE FINANCIAL SCHEME
Subject to the tests stipulated below, this Financial Scheme will utilized for the following matters:-
(i) Defendant(s) wishing to plead guilty and require legal representation for mitigation and/or ‘plea bargaining’. The said mitigation and/or plea bargaining of which Financial Scheme will be applied is limited to the following criminal offences for 1st time offenders:-
(b) Attempted suicide;
(d) Offences involving Young Persons;
(e) Offences where defendants are suffering from mental illness or are intellectually challenged.
(ii) Parties requiring legal representation for Family law matters ; and
(iii) Other matters (civil and/or criminal) which are of special consideration and require legal representation
C. MANNER OF FUNDING
It is proposed that funding be obtained in the following manner:-
a) Private donations from individuals and companies interested in the cause;b) Donations from law firms.
c) Through law society events of which a portion of receivables could be funneled to the Legal Aid fund.
D. HOW WILL FUNDS UNDER THE FINANCIAL SCHEME BE HELD?
It will be kept by the Law Society of Brunei Darussalam in a trust account.
E. LEGAL REPRESENTATION
The Law Society will seek volunteers from lawyers to represent such members of the public seeking assistance.
The Financial Scheme will utilized to pay lawyers for their legal representation as follows:-
a) The Financial Scheme will utilized to pay lawyers for their legal representation as follows:-
Magistrate Court – BND200.00 per case
Intermediate/High Court – BND300.00 per case(ii) Family law and other civil matters – up to BND300.00 per matter.
b) Upon conclusion of such case/matter being handled by a lawyer, the said lawyer will submit his/her claim to the Treasurer of the Law Society , as provided in paragraph F (a)(i) and/or (ii) above, and confirming that the said case/matter has been concluded and/or finalized.
G. CRITERIA FOR THE APPLICATION OF THE FINANCIAL SCHEME
a) For the Financial Scheme to apply, the following test must be determined:-
(i) that the member of public that is seeking legal representation is a resident of Brunei Darussalam; and(ii) that the said member of public must satisfy the means test; and
(iii) that the legal representation sought must fall under the categories mentioned at paragraph B(i) or (ii) or (iii) above.
b) Means test
The member of public that is seeking legal representation does not have an income/allowance exceeding BND1,500.00 per month
a) Member and/or members of the public attending our legal advice clinic for consultation, shall have their cases assessed by the lawyer attending to them, as to whether legal representation is required. Members of the public may also seek legal advice via the Law Society Website, or via email where their case will be referred to a lawyer for assessment;b) In the event the said lawyer in attendance is of the opinion legal representation is required, the said lawyer shall then forward the matter to the Legal Aid Committee for approval ;
c) Upon the Legal Aid Committee determining that paragraphs A, B & G above have been complied with, the Legal Aid Committee will then seek approval from the President or the Vice President of the Law Society for the use of the Financial Scheme for the said legal representation;
d) Upon such approval being obtained, the Legal Aid Committee shall then contact a lawyer, on a rotational basis, providing necessary details and seeking confirmation that the said lawyer is willing and able to have conduct of the matter;
e) Upon receipt of the confirmation mention at paragraph H(d), the Legal Aid Committee will then contact that member of public notifying him/her/them that a lawyer has volunteered to assist them and will provide the member of public the contact details of the said lawyer.
I. ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE LEGAL AID COMMITTEE
J. ASSIGNED LAWYERS
K. HOW THE FINANCIAL SCHEME WILL BE UTILISED
L. ACCOUNTABILITY TO THE STAKEHOLDERS/DONORS
The Legal Aid Committee, Law Society of Brunei Darussalam
05th December 2018