ILF-Nepal and Nepal Bar Association Sign Agreement to Develop Legal Aid Guidelines
ILF-Nepal signed an agreement today with the Nepal Bar Association (NBA) which will improve the quality of legal representation provided to poor persons accused of crimes in Nepal’s courts and quasi-judicial bodies. ILF-Nepal will work with the NBA to develop legal aid guidelines which set forth minimum performance expectations for lawyers who provide legal representation to poor persons accused of crimes.
A recent survey conducted by ILF-Nepal in six districts shows that the criminal defense lawyers of many other legal aid providers throughout the country are providing substandard representation and failing to meet the needs of the indigent accused. ILF-Nepal is the ideal partner for the NBA in its quest to address this problem and implement minimum standards for legal aid. Over the last six years, ILF-Nepal has developed supportive supervision and mentoring systems, continuing skills training, forms and systems for monitoring and evaluation, and professional standards that foster a commitment to zealous and proactive legal representation.
ILF-Nepal will address this issue by partnering with the NBA to develop legal aid guidelines, based on the ILF’s experience and the newly adopted UN Principles and Guidelines on Access to Legal Aid in Criminal Justice Systems, which inform lawyers about their roles and responsibilities in defending the indigent accused. The goal is to encourage the NBA to adopt these standards so that they are referenced and followed by all lawyers in Nepal.