Citizens of BiH will soon have the right to use free legal aid in the Ministry of Justice of BiH, stated that spokeswoman of the Ministry of Justice of BiH Marina Bakić.
According to Bakić, it is being worked on the design of procedural regulations and the selection of adequate staff, with the aim of ensuring quality conditions for provision of legal aid. According to the Law on provision of free legal aid, which was passed in the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH recently, relevant body for provision of free legal aid in institutions of BiH is the Office for provision of free legal aid in BiH, which is an internal organizational unit within the Ministry of Justice.
“Apart from officials of this ministry, foreseen providers of services are also lawyers who are on the list of providers of free legal aid and authorized employees in associations and foundations registered for provision of free legal aid. Manner of application, running and updating of the list of providers of free legal aid will be precisely arranged and controlled with corresponding rulebooks in the Ministry,” Bakić explained.
With the adoption of the Law on free legal aid, BiH got a law which the Ministry of Justice of BiH advocated for years and which has been changed several times, but the necessary support from the parliament lacked.
“Until the Law on free legal aid became effective, there was no law which regulated the issue of free legal aid on the national level. Free legal aid was provided on lower levels of authority, through a series of different laws which are not harmonized and which differ significantly from entities to cantons. However, this right could not be exercised in national judicial institutions,” Bakić said.
Thanks to this Law, every citizen of BiH, regardless of financial situation, has the right to access justice in bodies and institutions of Bosnia and Herzegovina, irrespective of whether they are protecting individual rights, liabilities or interests.
Bakić emphasized that all citizens regardless of their status and financial situation have the right to obtain general information on rights and liabilities and to receive help in filling the forms for exercising the right to free legal aid.