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Legal Aid in Finland 5.9.2014 Reykjavik Jouko Pelkonen, Advocate.

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Presentation on theme: "Legal Aid in Finland 5.9.2014 Reykjavik Jouko Pelkonen, Advocate."— Presentation transcript:

1 Legal Aid in Finland 5.9.2014 Reykjavik Jouko Pelkonen, Advocate

2  Attorney and partner at Apajalahti, Etelämäki, Pelkonen & Niemi Oy, Attorneys- at- Law Ltd. since 2001  The Board Member at the Finnish Bar Association 2011-2014  Jouko Pelkonen

3  Questionary to 25 colleagues around Finland  Strenghts and areas for improvement of Finnish Legal Aid System and how it should be developed  Research: Public Legal Aid in the Viewpoint of Attorneys and other private lawyers, published by The National Research Institute of Legal Policy  Cases in practice since 1992 Facts of Presentation

4  Total amount of Legal Aid cases in 2013 was 66 999  Private Sectors plead 22 233  Client can choose attorney mainly in the case of court proceedings Statistics 1/3

5  Year 2013 Legal Aid court proceedings:  80 % General courts  11 % Administrative courts  9 % cases outside court proceedings, mainly proceedings in accordance of Aliens Act Statistics 2/3

6  Types of Proceedings:  60% Criminal Proceedings  15 % Proceedings in accordance of Aliens Act  14 % Family Proceedings e.g. custody disputes, confirming or altering the maintenance allowance  7 % Traditional civil law cases  4 % Other cases Statistics 3/3

7  Housing disputes  Property disputes  Demand of payment  Employment disputes  Equality cases  Private loan arrangements Legal Aid civil law proceedings

8  Structure and Development  Client structure differs from State Legal Aid Offices client structure  The amount of Legal Aid clients is growing  Especially proceedings in accordance of Aliens Act is growing  Residence permit  Asylum interviews, Asylum applications  Citizenship applications Clients of Private Attorneys

9  Based on the answers Legal Aid is good source of assignments  Legal Aid System functions pretty well  The payer of the fees is reliable  Electronic Legal Aid petition system works well What is good in Legal Aid System

10 Problematics Low level of legal aid fees Too low income limit for clients Structural problems

11  Attorneys do not want to take demanding assignments with the fee that Legal Aid covers  Attorney services decrease in countryside and sparsely populated area  New attorneys find their way to company law instead of Legal Aid cases Low Level Legal Aid Fee

12  Legal Aid clients can not afford to pay their percentage of Attorneys fee  Attorney do not have means to collect unpaid bill  Legal Aid cases lose their cost-effectiveness Too Low Income Limit for Clients

13  Attorneys are questioning the operation model of State Legal Aid Offices  State Legal Aid Offices should focus on judicial counseling  Attorneys access to all Legal Aid cases  Present Legal Aid Model is expensive Structural problems

14  How to offer Legal Aid with reasonable cost  How to reach all those who need Legal Aid  How to preserve Legal Aid cases economically profitable  How to preserve Legal Aid Attorneys services also outside metropolitan area and larger cities Challenges of Future

15  State Legal Aid offices focus on judicial counseling  Access to all Legal Aid cases for private sector  Income limit reform for Legal Aid clients Lines of Development for Future

16 Thank you! Takk! Tack! Tak! Kiitos! +358405195711

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