Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Anisul Huq said that the government has taken comprehensive steps to make the legal aid programme more dynamic and service-oriented.
“The present government has established the principal office of the National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO) in the capital and legal aid office at all districts, including in the Supreme Court, to institutionalize the legal aid programme by making it dynamic and service-friendly,” he said.
Anisul said these yesterday while addressing an ADR workshop held for legal aid panel lawyers. In the function, he distributed commemorative award among best district-wise panel lawyers as the chief guest at Hotel InterContinental in the city, said a press release.
The law minister added that Legal Aid Committees have been formed up to the Upazila and Union levels.
NLASO and Promoting Peace and Justice Activity Programme of USAID, Bangladesh organized the day-long workshop for the best 40 panel lawyers from the selected project areas.
The law minister said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gifted the nation the ‘Legal Aid Act, 2000’ to provide legal aid to people who are financially poor, helpless and unable to get justice due to various socio-economic reasons.
“Through this (act), the journey of ensuring the legal rights of the helpless and poor people of the country began,” Anisul added.
“We issued gazette notification in 2019 treating the work of Legal Aid Officer as a judicial work. Therefore, Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) is now being treated as a judicial work,” he said.
Panel lawyers are being given trainings regularly so they can perform their duties efficiently, the law minister said, adding that a total of 2,669 panel lawyers have been trained up from 2018-19 fiscal year to 2021-22 fiscal year.
Law and Justice Division Secretary Md Golam Sarwar presided over the function while Director of USAID, Bangladesh’s Democracy, Human Rights and Governance Office Kristin Walls and Promoting Peace and Justice Activity’s Chief of Party Heather Goldsmith spoke at the event.