Pursuant to the December 25, 2001 Law on Organization of the Government;
Pursuant to the June 29, 2006 Law on Legal Aid;
At the proposal of the Minister of Justice,
The Government promulgates the Decree to amend and supplement a number of articles of the Government’s Decree No. 07/2007/ND-CP of January 12, 2007, detailing and guiding a number of articles of the Law on Legal Aid.
Article 1. To amend and supplement a number of articles of the Government’s Decree No. 07/2007/ND-CP of January 12, 2007, detailing and guiding a number of articles of the Law on Legal Aid as follows:
1. To amend Point k, Clause 2; Clauses 3, 4 and 7 of; and add Clause 8 to; Article 2 as follows:
“2. People with meritorious services to the revolution eligible for legal aid specified in Clause 2, Article 10 of the Law on Legal Aid include:
k/ Blood parents, spouses and children of fallen heroes; and persons having merits in nurturing fallen heroes.
3. The elderly eligible for legal aid specified in Clause 3, Article 10 of the Law on Legal Aid are those who are 60 years old or older, live alone and have nobody to rely on.
4. People with disabilities under the Law on People with Disabilities are those who suffer from defects in one or many body parts or functions in different types of infirmity, making their work, daily-life and study activities difficult; or those who are affected by toxic chemicals or HIV and have nobody to rely on.
7. Other people eligible for legal aid under treaties to which the Socialist Republic of Vietnam is a contracting party.
The Minister of Justice shall provide guidance on people eligible for legal aid under treaties specified in this Clause.
8. Human trafficking victims as defined in the human trafficking prevention and combat law.”
2. To amend and supplement Clause 5, Article 8 as follows:
“5. To pay compensation for damage caused by faults of centers’ legal aid providers or legal aid collaborators during the process of providing legal aid to legal aid beneficiaries.”
3. To amend and supplement Clause 1, Article 9 as follows:
“1. A center has a director, a deputy director, legal aid providers and other public employees. The director and the deputy director must be legal aid providers.”
4. To amend and supplement the title, Clause 1 and Point c, Clause 4, Article 10 as follows:
“Article 10. Criteria for appointment, removal from office and dismissal of directors of centers
1. A person fully meeting the following criteria may be proposed for appointment as the director of a center:
a/ Being a legal aid provider;
b/ Having managerial capacity;
c/ Having been engaged in legal work for five consecutive years or more.
4. The director of a center is dismissed in one of the following cases:
c/ He/she is subject to the disciplining form of dismissal from the current managerial post under the law on civil servants.”
5. To amend and supplement Clause 1, Article 13 as follows:
“1. A branch has a head, legal aid providers and other public employees. The head of a branch must be a legal aid provider.”
6. To amend and supplement the title and Clauses 1 and 2, Article 14 as follows:
“Article 14. Civil servants, public employees and physical foundations of centers and branches
1. Based on the volume, nature and characteristics of professional operations and requirements of legal aid services, a provincial-level People’s Committee may decide on the number of public employees of a center and its branches; and ensure funds, physical foundations, equipment and facilities for the operation of the center and its branches from the local budget and other lawful sources.
2. The recruitment, employment and management of civil servants and public employees of centers comply with the laws on recruitment, employment and management of civil servants and public employees of public non-business units.”
7. To amend and supplement Article 19 as follows:
“1. A person who possesses a law bachelor degree and a lawyer-training certificate, has been working in a state legal aid center and is sent to attend courses of professional training in legal aid services and pass course exams, may be granted certificate of professional training in legal aid services by the National Legal Aid Agency of the Ministry of Justice under regulations.
A person who used to work as a lawyer under the Law on Lawyers or is exempted from taking a lawyer-training course under the Law on Lawyers, has been working in a state legal aid center, and is sent to attend courses of professional training in legal aid services and pass course exams, may be granted certificate of professional training in legal aid services by the National Legal Aid Agency of the Ministry of Justice under regulations.
2. The Minister of Justice shall provide the program and duration of a course of professional training in legal aid services for legal aid providers of all ranks; and promulgate the Regulation on organization, examination and grant of certificates of courses of professional training in legal aid services.”
8. To amend and supplement Article 25 as follows:
“Article 25. Ranks of legal aid providers
1. Legal aid providers are ranked as public employees under regulations.
2. The Minister of Home Affairs shall promulgate legal aid provider rank codes.
3. The Minister of Justice shall promulgate professional criteria for legal aid provider ranks.”
9. To amend and supplement Clauses 1 and 3, Article 26 as follows:
“1. Legal aid providers have their salaries graded and paid according to the salary scale applicable to public employees under regulations.
3. Legal aid providers are entitled to a professional responsibility-based allowance equal to 25% of their current salary, leadership allowance and extra-seniority allowance (if any). When participating in legal proceedings or providing extrajudicial representation or reconciliation, legal aid providers are entitled to a case-based allowance equal to 20% of the remuneration level applicable to collaborators.”
10. To adds Article 26a as follows:
“Article 26a. Uniform of legal aid providers
1. Legal aid providers are provided with uniforms.
2. The Minister of Finance shall coordinate with the Minister of Justice in specifying the provision of uniforms for legal aid providers.
3. The Minister of Justice shall specify model uniform, the management and use of uniforms of legal aid providers.”
11. To rearrange Article 32 as follows:
“When providing legal aid services, collaborators have the rights and obligations prescribed in Article 25 of the Law on Legal Aid, and the following benefits and responsibilities:
1. To receive remunerations and get reasonable administrative expenses on a case-by-case basis under regulations;
2. To make suggestions and proposals on the expansion or raising of effectiveness of the operation of the center;
3. To be commended or rewarded when recording achievements in legal aid services;
4. To use collaborator cards according to Article 29 of this Decree; to return collaborator cards when these cards are revoked according to Article 30 of this Decree;
5. To take responsibility before the director of the center and law for the settlement of legal aid cases. Those who are working in a branch shall also take responsible before the head of the branch;
6. When a collaborator causes damage while providing legal aid, the center in which the collaborator works shall pay compensation. The collaborator shall refund the compensated amounts to the center in accordance with the civil law;
7. To make regular and irregular reports at the request of the center; to promptly report on matters arising in the process of providing legal aid and propose handling measures to the center’s leaders.”
12. To amend and supplement Clause 2, Article 33 as follows:
“2. Collaborators enjoy case-based remuneration calculated according to the number of hours of providing legal counseling and other legal aid services. Workday-based remuneration is paid to collaborators who provide legal aid through participating in legal proceedings or extrajudicial representation.
The level of case-based remuneration for collaborators is set on the basis of the quality of legal aid provided, the time of providing legal aid, the complexity of the legal aid case, and the form and result of legal aid.
If legal aid is provided in the form of participation in legal proceedings, the remuneration level for collaborators is equal to 0.2 of their minimum wage for a workday.
The time of providing legal aid covers the time of studying the dossier of the case and preparing documents in service of the provision of legal aid, the time of meeting legal aid beneficiaries or their relatives, the time of verifying the legal aid case and the time of working at agencies and organizations related to the legal aid case. The working time of a collaborator is the working time certified by related individuals, agencies and organizations.”
13. To amend and supplement Clause 3, Article 35 as follows:
“3. Centers or their branches may provide itinerant legal aid services. Centers and their branches may request related local agencies and departments to appoint their representatives to participate in itinerant legal aid services. Those who participate in itinerant legal aid services are entitled to benefits and entitlements like cadres, civil servants and public employee on working trips.”
14. To amend and supplement Article 36 as follows:
“1. Legal aid club is a form of community-based legal aid service to create an opportunity for legal aid beneficiaries, people living just above the poverty line and people encountering legal problems in localities to receive legal briefings. Through legal counseling, legal aid clubs assist legal aid beneficiaries in improving legal knowledge so as to abide by law, solve legal problems by themselves and protect their rights and legitimate interests.
2. A legal aid club is managed by the commune-level People’s Committee. Expenses for activities of a legal aid club, including expenses for copying documents and some other reasonable expenses, are covered by the center. The commune-level People’s Committee shall support and create favorable conditions for the center (venue and drinking water).
3. Chairpersons of commune-level People’s Committees shall decide to establish and approve charters of legal aid clubs based on the model charter promulgated by the Minister of Justice.”
15. To amend and supplement Clauses 1 and 2, Article 41 as follows:
“1. When there are enough grounds to believe that the law-prescribed time has passed but a competent state agency does neither settle nor accept to settle a case, or the settlement of a case is incompliant with law, causing damage to legal aid beneficiaries, the legal aid-providing organization shall propose a competent state agency to consider and resettle the case in order to protect the legal aid beneficiaries’ rights and legitimate interests. In its recommendations, the legal aid-providing organization shall clearly state contents of the case, applicable legal grounds and directions for settling the case, and take responsibility for the reasonability of its recommendations.
2. When receiving written recommendations of the legal aid-providing organization, the state agency competent to settle the case shall consider and settle the recommendations and reply in writing within 30 days after receiving such recommendations. If there are plausible reasons, the above time limit may be extended but must not exceed 45 days, unless otherwise provided by law.
Past the above time limit, if the state agency competent to settle the case fails to settle the case or reply, the legal aid-providing organization may forward its recommendations to the direct superior agency of such competent state agency for the settlement under regulations. The direct superior agency shall settle the case within 30 days after receiving such recommendations and notify the settlement result in writing to the legal aid-providing organization.”
16. To amend and supplement Clauses 1 and 2, Article 43 as follows:
“1. Evaluation of the quality of legal aid cases means applying set criteria to evaluate the process of providing legal aid, the observance of professional rules and the application of law by legal aid-providing persons; and serves as a basis for identifying the responsibilities of legal aid-providing persons for legal aid cases.
2. Criteria for evaluating the quality of a legal aid case include the following principal contents: the creation of favorable conditions for legal aid beneficiaries to access, present and provide information on the legal aid case; the comprehensiveness and promptness of the legal aid; the lawfulness and conformity with social ethics of contents of legal aid; the compliance with law of order and procedures of providing legal aid; the satisfaction of legal aid beneficiaries about the service attitude of legal aid providers, method of providing legal aid and contents of legal aid; and the compliance with law of legal aid case dossiers.”
Article 2. Effect
This Decree takes effect on March 31, 2013.
Article 3. Implementation responsibilities
Ministers, heads of ministerial-level agencies, heads of government-attached agencies and chairpersons of provincial-level People’s Committees shall implement this Decree./.