The Centre for Legal Aid
The Centre for Legal Aid
The Centre for Legal Aid (“the Centre”) is a state budgetary organisation under the Ministry of Justice of the Slovak Republic created pursuant to Law No. 327/2005 Coll. on the Provision of Legal Aid for People in Material Need (the “Law”). The mission of the Centre is to provide comprehensive legal aid to persons who, due to lack of means, are unable to use paid legal services.
The Law lays down the conditions for providing legal aid, how individuals and state bodies should proceed when deciding on applications for the provision of legal aid and institutional representation in the process of providing legal aid.
If applicants meet the prescribed criteria for the award of legal aid, the Centre provides them with comprehensive legal aid, for example in the form of legal advice or representation before a court by a Centre lawyer or an advocate without charge to the applicant.
The conditions for providing legal aid are laid down in Sec. 6 of the Law, under which private individuals have the right to be awarded legal aid if:
- They are in material need, i.e. their income is lower than 1.4 times the amount of the minimum subsistence and they cannot pay for legal services using their other assets,
- It is not a manifestly unfounded lawsuit,
- Value of the dispute exceeds the minimum wage set by the law, with the exception of disputes where this value cannot be quantified in pecuniary terms.
Since 1 January 2012 the Constitutional Court has been obliged refer the complainants to the Centre (http://www.centrumpravnejpomoci.sk/) if they apply for legal representation and they fulfil the prerequisites to be exempted from court fees. The Constitutional Court instructs complainants about this option.
Private individuals can apply for legal assistance or preliminary consultation even before filing a complaint at the Constitutional Court.
As regards providing legal aid in proceedings before the Constitutional Court under Sec. 3 par. 1 letters a) and c) of the Law, the Centre provides legal aid, inter alia, on disputes in
- Civil law, family law, labour law, commercial law, judicial proceedings in administrative matters and in all these cases in proceedings before the Constitutional Court,
- Asylum cases, proceedings on administrative expulsion, proceedings on the apprehension of a non-EU foreign national, proceedings on the apprehension of an applicant for asylum, and in these cases also in proceedings before the Constitutional Court.
A person can send an application for the provision of legal aid to the office of the Centre according to their place of permanent residence:
For more information see the website https://www.centrumpravnejpomoci.sk available also in the English language.