The standards are intended to guide all of these organizations, but also recognize that an organization`s institutional structure and funding influence how a particular standard might be applied to them. Some legal aid organizations will not be able to meet certain standards for legal, practical or institutional reasons. A legal aid component of a large social welfare agency, for example, would likely have difficulty meeting all governance standards. Administratively, the Legal Aid Department is subordinate to the administrative wing of the Office of the Secretary-General. In 2007, it was transferred to the Office of Internal Affairs, which is primarily responsible for cultural affairs and local administration. This has been strongly criticised by the pro-democracy opposition camp, as it endangers the neutrality of legal aid. They voted en bloc against the entire restructuring plan for the Politburo, which included the relocation of the Legal Aid Department. Legal aid is closely linked to the welfare state and the provision of legal aid by a State is influenced by attitudes towards social protection. Legal aid is state social assistance for people who would not otherwise be able to afford legal aid. Legal aid also helps to enforce social provisions by giving persons entitled to social benefits, such as social housing, access to legal advice and justice. Legal aid is the provision of assistance to persons who cannot afford legal representation and access to the judicial system. Legal aid is considered essential to ensure access to justice by guaranteeing equality before the law, the right of access to a lawyer and the right to a fair trial. This article describes the development of legal aid and its principles, as they are best known in Europe, the Commonwealth of Nations and the United States.

Supreme Court Justice Lord Wilson of Culworth fears that the effectiveness of legal aid may be compromised. Wilson said: "Disadvantaged people, who needed to know and uphold their human rights, were probably unable to do so without free legal advice and representation. Even when it has to continue to provide legal aid free of charge, for example: for accused defendants and for parents threatened with deportation of their children, the UK indirectly reduces them by setting lawyers` rates of pay at such a non-commercial level that most of them reluctantly feel unable to do the job. Access to justice is under threat in Britain. [20] The Law Society submits that restrictions on legal aid prevent defendants from receiving a fair trial. [21] Paying Your Civil Legal Aid (PDF, 510 KB, 6 pages) helps clients with civil law problems. In July 1997, the Australian Government amended its arrangements for direct funding of legal aid services for Commonwealth legal affairs. Under this agreement, states and territories fund support for their own laws. In 2013, a murder trial in the Supreme Court of Victoria was postponed because legal aid was not available.

[40] This has been cited as the result of reduced government funding for legal aid agencies in Australia and has led to a growing popularity of online legal aid resources such as the Law Handbook[41] and LawAnswers. [42] [43] Legal aid in England and Wales is administered by the Legal Aid Agency (until 31 March 2013 by the Legal Services Commission) and is available for most criminal cases and many types of civil cases. Exceptions include defamation, most cases of personal injury (which are now dealt with under contingency fee agreements, a type of contingency expense) and cases related to the operation of a business. Sometimes family cases are also covered. Depending on the nature of the case, legal aid may or may not be means-tested and, in some cases, legal aid may be free of charge for social assistance recipients, unemployed persons with no savings or assets. Legal aid boards use a mixed model to provide legal representation. Legal representation may be entrusted to an in-house in-house lawyer or referred to a private lawyer. The blended model is particularly advantageous for providing services to clients in regional jurisdictions and in cases where a conflict of interest means that the same lawyer cannot represent both parties.

"Client Community" means a group of persons with limited economic or other resources located in the area served by the Organization, but not limited to, individuals or groups who actually receive legal assistance from the Organization.