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Legal Aid

Section 7 (1)(a) of the Legal Aid 2016 mandates the agency to establish and administer a national legal aid scheme that is affordable, accessible, sustainable, credible and accountable.

1.What is Legal Aid?

Legal aid is the provision of free legal services to persons who cannot afford to pay for legal services of a lawyer to conduct a case. Legal aid services includes provision of legal advice on a legal matter, assigning of legal aid providers like advocates to represent and aided person in court, drafting of legal documents, facilitation of settlement of disputes outside the court through alternative dispute resolution and creation of legal awareness through educating the public on legal issues.

2.When can a person get legal aid?

Legal aid services are available at any stage of the case before final determination by the court.

3.Who is eligible for legal aid?

i.One must be a natural person (human being).

ii.A resident in Kenya and can either be a child, a refugee, a victim of human trafficking, an internally displaced person or a stateless person.

iii.One must be indigent - cannot afford to pay for legal services. Currently, the service considers persons who earn a monthly income of below Ksh. 30,000 to be eligible.

iv.Proof of income if any is a requirement. Where there is no proof of income the applicant ought to swear an affidavit to this effect.

4.How can a person access legal aid?

Any person who qualifies for legal aid can fill the application form issued by NLAS. The application form can be accessed through the link provided on the website or by visiting any NLAS office.

5.What cases qualify for legal aid?

The matters that qualify for legal aid service in accordance with section 35(2) of the Legal Aid Act 2016 include civil matters, criminal matters, children matters, constitutional matters and matters of public interest. However certain civil matters do not qualify for legal aid and they include matters relating to tax, recovery of debts, defamation and bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings.

6.What happens after making application for legal aid?

Once the application is received by the agency, a determination on whether or not to grant legal aid shall be made not later than 48 hours from the date of receipt by the Service and communicated to the Service.

7.What happens if the application is rejected?

In instances where an application has been rejected, the reasons for rejection shall be provided and one has a right to seek review or appeal.