Anything new about legal aid rates?
The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights reiterated its concern about legislative changes resulting from draft legal aid regulations of the Minister of Justice, particularly the establishment of a new rate for legal aid cases concerning compensation for moral and financial losses. The rate was set as a lump-sum of PLN 120 (VAT excluded) regardless of the value of the claim.
The Foundation sustained its previously expressed position that the proposed change has raised serious doubts and should not be implemented. In February 2011, the Ministry of Justice responded to HFHR observations saying that the final wording of the legal provisions in question had not been yet developed and the issues raised by the Foundation, together with the reservations put forward by other stakeholders, will be subject to a thorough analysis. Despite this statement, the presented content of social consultations does not take account of our position.
The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights sustains its appeal for better reasoned reforms. HFHR suggested that the rate of legal aid attorney fees in these cases should be based on the criteria such as a number of bodies sued or an amount of the compensation sought.