Legal Aid

A. Definition

Status of legal aid on civil and criminal trial

B.How to measure

The number of legal aids for the civil and criminal trial
Legal Aid: A system that is provided to those who are economically difficult or not adequately protected by the law to protect fundamental human rights and promote legal welfare
* Although the report for the legal aid is released in semi-annual basis, the given index is revised and presented in annual basis
* Civil and domestic legal aid includes aid before and after a lawsuit

C. Features and Sources

Category Sub-Category Sub-Subcategory Type of Indicator Reference Data Sources First year data available Frequency
Right to Freedom Administrative/Judicial Justice Damage Claim Objective/Result Korea Legal Aid Corporation Legal Aid Statistics 2010 Half year

D.Interpretation

Article 8 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that ” Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.” Furthermore, article 2(3) of the ‘International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights indicates that “To ensure that any person whose rights or freedoms as herein recognized are violated shall have an effective remedy, notwithstanding that the violation has been committed by persons acting in an official capacity;” Judicial remedy means a system in which anyone can be entitled to the protection of his rights by using the judiciary ‘s justice when his rights are violated. By this juridical protection, the full realization of the rule of law can be achieved. If the judicial remedy are not practically given, then human rights protection will vary depending on individual ability. When we look into the figures of the current situation of legal aid in Korea, in the case of criminal cases, data continues to fluctuate. However, in terms of civil cases, the results show a steady increase. Notably, in 2017, about 170,000 legal aid operations were conducted. There is criticism that the threshold for low-income people (lower than 125% of median income and even 150% for farmers and fishermen) who need a legal structure is too high. On the one hand, as lawyers of the Legal Aid Society have the highest number of counseling cases per person, it seems like the reinterpretation of the legal and administrative standards of the legal aid is needed.

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