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Law Ministry drafts Bill to create Legal Services Board to oversee the regulation of legal practice
Law Ministry drafts Bill to create Legal Services Board that will oversee the regulation of legal practice

The law ministry has proposed a new statute called the Legal Services Board that will oversee the regulation of legal practice, client service, and legal education and make it obligatory for lawyers to provide free legal aid.

The Legal Services Board would be established under a new Act called the Legal Practitioners (Regulations and Maintenance of Standards in Professions, protecting the Interest of Clients and Promoting the Rule of Law) Act, 2010, which was published on the law ministry's website.

The draft is modeled on the lines of the Legal Services Board in the UK, the statement of objective reads that it would make provision for “the regulation of persons who carry out the activities of legal practitioners”, establish an ombudsman and a scheme for complaints against the professionals and set out the rules of the provision legal services free of charge.

As proposed in the current form, the Act consists of six chapters with Chapter Three dealing with the constitution of the Board in Part I, the consumer panel in Part II and ombudsman in Part III.

The relationship between the Board and the bar councils is discussed under Part II of Chapter IV, with the board having the power to direct the bar councils to take actions and to publicly censure the councils for their acts or omissions.

Download the full draft and proposal.
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