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Content updated: 10-08-2015 09:08

The legal regulation governing payment to advocates for the provision of secondary legal aid ruled not in conflict with the Constitution

09-07-2015

The Constitutional Court recognised that the provision of the government-approved Sizes of, and the Rules for the Paying of, Payment to Advocates for the Provision and Coordination of Secondary Legal Aid by which additional payment for advocates rendering secondary legal aid in case of necessity used to be limited by the size of four minimum monthly salaries was not in conflict with the Constitution. The Constitutional Court held that the maximum size of the payment paid to advocates may be subject to responsible and proportionate limitation. The state is under obligation to responsibly provide for, accumulate, and use the funds needed for the provision of legal aid, whilst advocates, in assuming the obligation to render the legal aid funded by public funds, must not dismiss the risk of additional expenditures and expenses originating due to objective reasons in case the rendition of the service becomes protracted, and must choose such legitimate ways of defence which would comply, as much as possible, the requirements of speedy, economical, and fair legal proceedings.

The Constitutional Court also recognised that the provision of the said rules establishing the size of payment for advocates rendering secondary legal aid on a permanent basis and not linking such a size with the government-approved minimum monthly salary was not in conflict with the Constitution. The Constitutional Court noted that the state may choose various systems of work pay and has no obligation to establish a uniform system of work pay of state officials or state servants or of payment for legal services rendered by advocates. Alongside, it was noted that, in the light of the previously effective legal regulation, advocates could not hold the legitimate expectation that the system of payment for services rendered by them would not be changed.