Significant increase in fees paid for legal aid services Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Minister of Justice, Delroy Chuck has revealed that there has been a significant increase in the fees paid out for legal aid services.

In his recent contribution to the 2024/25 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, Chuck said: “In 2016/2017, a total of $156 million was paid for legal aid services. This moved to $381 million in 2023/2024 and the payments paid to attorneys-at-law have doubled.

Chuck also noted that significant strides have been made in ensuring that attorneys receive swift payment for their services.

“So, more individuals who want to be on the roster can now speak to the Legal Aid Council and get on the roster.”

Chuck then added that the Legal Aid Council will continue to provide quality legal support and effective legal representation for the most vulnerable in the society.

To this end, he said that the number of duty counsels has been increased to provide representation to individuals in need.

“We have increased the number of duty counsels who have been empanelled and I can say that everyone now who needs a lawyer at a police station – a duty counsel – or one in court, they just need to call the Legal Aid Council and they are provided with an attorney,” he said.

Chuck said that with the assistance of some key partners, Global Affairs Canada and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Legal Aid Council was able to assist 300 persons living with disabilities to access justice services which they would not normally be able to access.