after passing the Legal Aid Act 2000, it was not possible
to provide service to the justice seekers due to the absence
of required rules on providing legal aid at the highest
court of the land. In 2010, National Legal Aid Service
Organization provided only Jail Appeal to the people who
are socially and financially vulnerable through 37 lawyers
who were included into the panel. After that, National
Legal Aid Service Organization (NLASO) and Manusher Jonno
Foundation (MJF) jointly took the initiative to conduct
a survey on how legal aid can be provided by the govt.
and accordingly assigned Barrister Tanjib-ul-Alam to conduct
the survey and later he submitted the study paper on it.
An advisory committee was also established and the Director
of National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO) was
the head of the Committee.
After intense observation on the report prepared on
the basis of the findings, the advisory committee recommended
enacting and publishing the Legal Aid Regulation 2015.
The publication of the regulation as gazette notification
created the scope of a new beginning on the way of providing
legal aid at the highest court of the land. The recently
published gazette includes the issues regarding increasing
fees of lawyers, jurisdiction of filling cases and some
other related issues as well.
However, on 8th September, 2015 Honorable Chief Justice
of Bangladesh Surendra Kumar Sinha officially inaugurated
the Supreme Court Legal Aid Office. USAID’s Justice
for All Program and the National Legal Aid Services
Organization (NLASO) organized this launching ceremony
of the Supreme Court Legal Aid Office.
This official inception of the Supreme Court Legal
Aid Office ensures that legal aid is accessible to the
poor and distressed. Any eligible applicant can now
access free legal aid by submitting an application to
the Supreme Court Legal Aid Office. After reviewing
the application, a lawyer is appointed to represent
the applicant free of cost. The government will pay
the honorarium directly to the advocate. The Supreme
Court Legal Aid Office is now available for Civil, Criminal
appeals and Writ.
The Supreme Court Committee was comprised of 10 members
and Honorable Justice M. Enayetur Rahim is the Chairman
of the Committee.