site.btaJustice Minister Pavlova: "We Highly Appreciate Netherlands' Experience in Legal Aid"

Justice Minister Pavlova: "We Highly Appreciate Netherlands' Experience in Legal Aid"
Justice Minister Pavlova: "We Highly Appreciate Netherlands' Experience in Legal Aid"
Bulgarian Justice Minister Mariya Pavlova (right) and Janny Lubbers of the Dutch Legal Aid Board, Sofia, May 29, 2024 (BTA Photo)

"We highly appreciate the experience of the Netherlands in legal aid and mediation and will gladly borrow the good practices from it," Bulgarian Justice Minister Mariya Pavlova said here on Wednesday during a meeting with Janny Lubbers, Concernliaison at the Dutch Legal Aid Board. The guest detailed Pavlova on the Netherlands points system according to which the fees of court-appointed defence lawyers are fixed and with the mediators' appointment principles, the Bulgarian Justice Ministry said in a press release.

Earlier in the day, Deputy Justice Minister Spaska Kincheva addressed a forum on "Broadening the Scope of Legal Aid: Good Practices and Challenges," organized by the Bulgarian Institute for Legal Initiatives in partnership with the National Legal Aid Bureau.

"Legal aid is evolving and is producing significant results. The latest legislative revisions extended the range of persons entitled to legal aid, waived court costs for the users of this service, introduced legal aid provision in extra-judicial proceedings, and set up new forms in the system of providing legal advice and consultation on relaxed conditions," Kincheva said. 

During the event, Lubbers told about the legal aid model in her country. Legal aid is guaranteed by the Netherlands' Constitution. Over the years, the legal aid law has been amended substantially to shift the focus from more legal services to more social concern. The Netherlands subsidizes legal aid or mediation for low-income earners within the national jurisdiction, allocating some EUR 400 million annually for this purpose. 

"The pay that lawyers and mediators get for providing this service is not sufficiently attractive, which is why we are trying to enlist young legal practitioners in this cause," the Dutch expert admitted.  

National Legal Aid Bureau Chair Natalia Ilieva familiarized the participants in the roundtable with the Bulgarian model of legal aid provision, noting that the main focus is on vulnerable social groups.

/LG/

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By 12:43 on 18.06.2024 Today`s news

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