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Justice Ministry offers legal aid to 1,569 defendants

By JT - Sep 26,2020 - Last updated at Sep 26,2020

AMMAN — The Justice Ministry in coordination with the Jordan Bar Association has offered legal assistance to 1,569 defendants who are unable to afford an attorney.

Official figures showed that in 2018, when the legal assistance bylaw came into effect, the ministry provided assistance to 279 accused people, 993 defendants in 2019, and 297 until August of 2020.

Minister of Justice Bassem Talhouni said that legal assistance bylaw “stands by justice and supports it”, as all defendants now would have equal opportunities and legal representation before public prosecutor and courts, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

He added that Jordan has sought to develop its legislation in this area and has provided "an important bylaw" to assist those who cannot obtain the right of defence before the public prosecutor and courts.

To get assistance, defendant's monthly income should be less than JD400, owing no movable properties, Talhouni said, noting that home equity does not affect eligibility for legal aid.

He added that the assistance prioritises juveniles, the elderly, women and persons with disabilities, as well as any category decided by the Minister of Justice.

The ministry has established a fund for legal aid to pay due attorneys' fees, which ranges from JD25 to JD30 for each court hearing, he added, noting that fees are paid after the issuance of a final ruling in the case, while the lawyer's right to pay is waived if two or more court hearings were missed without an accepted reason, Petra reported.

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