1. What are the laws governing the Legal Aid Department?
The Legal Aid Act 1971 which came into operation on 24 April 1971 is the governing law. The day to day administration is governed by the Legal Aid and Advice Regulations 1970 and the Legal Aid (Mediation) Regulations 2006.
2. What are the objectives of the Legal Aid Department?
The Legal Aid Department was established in September 1970 and its objectives are to provide legal assistance and advice and mediation services to those who could not afford and to promote legal awareness to the public efficiently, accurately and effectively.
3. What are the criteria for me to be eligible for legal aid??
In order for you to be eligible for legal aid, you must have a good case to be represented in court and the need to fulfill the pre-condition as follows:
a. Your financial resources must not exceed RM30, 000.00 per annum; or
b. Your financial resources exceed RM30, 000.00 per annum but must not exceed RM50, 000.00 per annum.
4. If I were eligible for legal aid, do I have to pay for any charges incurred?
If your annual financial resources are between RM30, 000.00 to RM50, 000.00, you are required to pay a one time monetary contribution from RM500 to RM5,000.
5. What are the privileges of an aided person?
The privileges of an aided person are as follow:
a. no legal, administrative or processing fee is chargeable except for a sum of RM10.00 for registration, a sum of RM500.00 to RM5,000 as contribution (if applicable) and a nominal sum for disbursement (if the need arises);
b. shall not be liable for court fee, fees payable for service of process, fees due to Sheriff in connection with the execution process;
c. shall be entitled to be supplied free of charge a copy of the judge’s notes of evidence in any proceedings;
d. shall not be liable for costs to any other party in any proceedings; and
e. shall be entitled to costs in proceedings in which costs follow the event as if he were not an aided person.
6. If both parties in a dispute are eligible for legal aid service, whether the Legal Aid Department will assist both parties or only the party who first comes to the Department?
Legal aid service is open to all eligible parties without taking into account which party to attend first to the Legal Aid Department.
7. What will happen if both parties involved in a dispute are represented by the Legal Aid Department?
If this happens, both parties will be referred to a mediation session in our Department to seek an out of court settlement. If the mediation session failed, their case will be referred to our panels of solicitors appointed by the Department in accordance with section 5 of the Legal Aid Act 1971 and legal fees will be paid by the Legal Aid Department.
8. Am I still eligible to the legal aid even if my case is beyond the jurisdiction of the Legal Aid Department?
An application for a case beyond the Department’s jurisdiction as stated in subsection 10(2A) or 12 (3) of the Legal Aid Act 1971 can be submitted to the Minister through the Director General for consideration and exemption provided that there is merit in the application.
9. What is the nature of legal advice provided by the Legal Aid Department?
Pursuant to section 29 of the Legal Aid Act 1971 legal advice shall consist of oral advice on any legal questions pertaining to the laws of Malaysia.