Anyone has the possibility to take legal action to safeguard their legitimate rights and interests. The defence is an inviolable right at all stages of the proceedings. The possibilities of legal action and defence before all courts are guaranteed to the needy by public institutions. The law establishes the conditions and remedies for remedying miscarriages of justice. Who is entitled to independent counsel? The Constitution guarantees free legal aid to persons accused of a crime punishable by imprisonment and who cannot afford a lawyer. If you find yourself in this situation, ask for the appointment of a public defender at your first court appearance. When a court decides that someone is “destitute” — with little wealth and no funds to pay for a lawyer — usually either a private attorney is appointed by the court and paid with district funds, or a public defense attorney program is appointed to represent the person. Some public defense programs are allowed to charge customers an “application fee,” though this is usually a small amount. This information has been created to give you general information about the law. It is not legal advice on a particular issue. If you have any questions about the law, you should consult a lawyer. If you don`t know a lawyer, you can call the South Carolina Bar Lawyer Referral Service weekdays between 9 a.m.
and 5 p.m. The number is 799-7100 in Richland or Lexington counties and 1-800-868-2284 in other parts of the state. The first legal aid program at the federal level was implemented by the Office of Economic Opportunities (OPA), established in 1965.  The OAS was created by the Economic Opportunity Act as part of the Johnson government`s war on poverty.  The OPA`s first director, Sargent Shriver, steered the organization towards legal aid. In an interview when asked which of his favorite War on Poverty agenda, Shriver said, “I`m very proud of Legal Services because I realized they have the greatest potential to change the system in which people`s lives are operated.  In the past, legal aid has played an important role in ensuring respect for economic, social and cultural rights enshrined in social security, housing, social welfare, health and education services, whether public or private, as well as in labour and anti-discrimination legislation. Lawyers such as Mauro Cappelletti argue that legal aid is essential to enable individuals to access justice by enabling the individual legal application of economic, social and cultural rights. His views developed in the second half of the 20th century, when democracies with capitalist economies established liberal welfare states centered on the individual.
States acted as entrepreneurs and service providers within a free market philosophy that emphasized the citizen as a consumer. This has led to an emphasis on individual application in order to achieve the realization of rights for all.  In 1969, the South African government recognized the need for legal assistance and responded by establishing the South African Legal Aid Board, which became operational in 1971 and now provides the bulk of legal aid throughout the country.  The Committee is autonomous and independent of the government in its decision-making process and has exclusive jurisdiction to decide on the granting of legal aid. The Commission grants legal aid to all “qualified indigent persons” whose income is less than or equal to R600.00. If people do not meet this qualification, they will be given other methods to obtain a lawyer, such as hiring a lawyer or, if not in their capacities, finding a lawyer to work pro bono.   Without the help of donors like you, poor and elderly Oregoans have no meaningful access to our legal system, and “justice for all” is an empty promise. Thank you for your support! The discussion about legal aid and who is privileged for such a service has been criticized by legal scholars who claim that those who dominate and write the stories of people who seek legal aid are people who profit from the fact that the client`s narrative is an inevitable poverty and despair of a person. Critics argue that these asymmetric and schematically constructed client profiles are necessary for civil legal aid programs within the capitalist framework of the United States as a tool to attract donors and other sources of funding. These representations and assessments of who seeks and deserves legal aid are seen as contributing to a culture of blame for victims of poverty, as the narratives exclude the role of the state and other civil society stakeholders in creating these client circumstances.  However, legal aid is not granted in civil or referral proceedings, as these are not criminal proceedings.
In England and Wales, legal aid 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. In 2019, FLAG freely represented Maria Ressa in her defamation lawsuit against 16th President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, as it was her revelations about Duterte`s war on drugs that sparked global debates about the potential legal implications of Duterte`s actions.  The United States` first appeal attempt dates back to 1965.