Free legal help may be introduced in Kazakhstan
ASTANA. KAZINFORM - Free legal help may be introduced in Kazakhstan, Minister of Justice of Kazakhstan Marat Beketayev has informed presenting the draft law on lawyer activity and legal assistance today during the first reading at the session of the Majilis, the lower chamber of the Kazakh Parliament.
"This will be pro bono - complete legal support provided by lawyers and legal consultants and is a world practice. Such help will be free and on a voluntary basis, and it should be noted that pro bono is not a duty, it is a right and is not provided forcefully," Marat Beketayev said.
Pro bono is not the same as free consultations practiced in Kazakhstan. Nowadays lawyers provide single consultations for free on certain days but do not deal with their cases. Pro bono, however, is when a lawyer or legal consultant voluntarily undertakes a liability to provide full legal support for a client experiencing social or financial hardships.
Majilis Chairman Nurlan Nigmatulin, however, criticized charging 10% fee if the legal case is won.
According to the information of the Majilis press service, the draft law envisages a 10% fee for a lawyer or legal consultant from a won case. Majilis Speaker criticized this item of the bill and recommended to exclude it by the second reading reminding that pro bono means legal help for vulnerable groups of population and that the bill does not have its mechanism put through well.
"According to the world practice certain groups of peoples - pensioners, people with disabilities, low income categories - receive legal assistance for free. However this variant of the draft law allows a lawyer to obtain 10% from a won case which contradicts pro bono idea in the first place. This item needs to be removed," Nurlan Nigmatulin added.
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