Welcome to National Legal Aid Services Bangladesh

Legal Aid Day-2015-poster

Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh guarantees that “All citizens are equal before law and are entitled to equal protection of law”. Article 33(1) of the Constitution provides that no person is arrested shall be detained in custody without being informed, as soon as may be, of the grounds for such arrest, nor shall he be denied the right to consult and be defended by a legal practitioner of his choice. Despite such provision, a great number of people in Bangladesh are deprived of their constitutional right of access to justice due to poverty faced by them. Most of the people are not only poverty- stricken but are deprived of the minimum basic needs of life. Modern life and civilization seem to have been a beckoning of the horizon to them. The demon of illiteracy and wants has still kept them subjugated and ignorant of the basic human rights and amenities. Our poor litigant people, most of whom pass more than half of the year through acute starving condition, cannot afford to reach the doors of law and derive any benefit of their services in many cases and as a result, they silently bear the agonies and burns of injustice done to them in various spheres of life without any legal relief. This is nothing but a negation to them of one of their fundamental rights of equality before law and the equal protection of law.

In order to ensure access to justice to these poor people, the Government of Bangladesh enacted Legal Aid Services Act 2000 (LASA). In terms of LASA, National Legal Aid Services Organization (NLASO) also established to implement the government legal aid program across the country. NLASO provides legal aid to the poor litigants who are incapable of seeking justice due to financial insolvency, destitution, helplessness and also for various socio-economic conditions. The general direction and administration of the affairs and functions of NLASO vests in a National Board of Management. The National Board of Management consists of 19 members chaired by Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Law, Justice & Parliamentary Affairs. There are 64 District Legal Aid Committee (DLAC) by which NLASO implements the government legal aid program at district level. DLAC maintains a legal aid fund allocated by the government which is spent for poor litigants upon their applications. There are Upazilla and Union level committees also working to spread the legal aid program at grassroots.