Question to be considered the nature and seriousness of the offence complexity

Question to be considered the nature and seriousness

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Question to be considered: the nature and seriousness of the offence complexity of the case (from the perspective of a layman who has to defend himself personally) defendant’s ability to afford services of legal representation gravity of penalty Measures to improve access to justice How can we improve access to justice for: Low-income people? Young people? Ethnic minorities? Elderly? How can we make the law more understandable for the general public? How can we use technology to improve access to justice? 53 54
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28 Current legal aid measures Legal Aid Ordinary Legal Aid Scheme (OLAS) Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme (SLAS) Criminal Legal Aid Duty Lawyer Service Duty Lawyer Scheme Free Legal Advice Scheme Convention Against Torture and Non-Refoulement Claims Scheme Legal Aid: Legal Aid Department Legal aid is government-provided funding for legal services to eligible applicants. Legal aid is administered by the Legal Aid Department under the Home Affairs Bureau since 2007. The Director and Legal Aid Officers are civil servants appointed by the CE. The Legal Aid Department provides legal representation for eligible applicants for civil and criminal trials at the District Court or above. Mission: “to ensure that any person who has reasonable grounds for taking or defending a legal action is not prevented from doing so by lack of means.” 55 56
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29 Hong Kong Solicitors’ Guide to Professional Conduct, Chapter 4, principle 4.01: A solicitor must take steps to ‘give his client the best information he can under the circumstances about the likely costs of the matter … discuss with the client how the costs and disbursements are to be met [and] consider whether the client may be eligible and should apply for legal aid (including legal advice and assistance) or the assistance of the Duty Lawyer Service’. Ordinary Legal Aid Scheme: Scope For Civil Cases: matrimonial cases traffic accident claims landlord and tenant disputes claims in respect of industrial accidents employees' compensation immigration matters breach of contract professional negligence employees' wages and related employment benefits Mental Health Review Tribunal cases Coroners inquests involving interests of public justice 57 58
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30 Ordinary Legal Aid Scheme: Eligibility Means test: Financial resources should not exceed the upper financial limit of HK$307,130 (s.5 Legal Aid Ordinance) Discretion to waive limit in Hong Kong Bill of Rights Ordinance/ICCPR cases Merits test: Reasonable grounds for taking or defending proceedings Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme: Eligibility Aimed at the “sandwiched class” Means test: Financial resources exceed HK$307,130 but not HK$1,535,650 (s.5A Legal Aid Ordinance) Merits test: Reasonable grounds for taking proceedings 59 60
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31 Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme: Scope Civil claims related to: personal injury or death claims under Employees’ Compensation Ordinance appeals against the Labour Tribunal professional negligence, where claim likely to exceed $60,000
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