1,569 defendants received state-funded legal aid in two years

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Al-Anbat -  A total of 1,569 defendants, who were unable to afford legal representation and access to the court system, received state-funded legal assistance since 2018, according to Ministry of Justice figures.

The Legal Aid Bylaw came into effect in 2018 offering assistance to 279 in that year before the number jumped to 993 in 2019. The data reveals that a total of 297 defendants received legal aid in the first 8 months of the current year.

Speaking to Petra, Minister of Justice Bassam Talhouni said the Legal Aid Bylaw "stands by justice" and supports it so that all defendants have equal opportunities, adding that the Kingdom had sought to develop its legislation in this field and ultimately introduced this bylaw.

Under the legislation, the household income of the defendant seeking state-funded legal aid should not exceed JD400 dinars, that he/she does not have any immovable assets except for the house of residence, or movable assets other than the monthly income.

Furthermore, for a defendant to be eligible to access legal aid, the charge against her/him should be a felony and must not have precedence or been already convicted with a felony or misdemeanor.

According to Talhouni, the bylaw gives priority juveniles, the elderly, women, and persons with disabilities, and any group approved by the Minister of Justice, as well as those charged with felonies with a longer sentence
 
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