Fewer people appeal to subsidised legal aid

Nearly 830 thousand clients consulted the Legal Advice Desk last year, more than 2 percent fewer than in 2009. The Legal Advice Desk counsels free of charge in simple legal matters, provides information and refers to people actually involved in legal aid provision.

Fewer client contacts labour law disputes

The amount of people consulting the Legal Advice Desk declined after a steady annual increase by 10 percent in 2010. Fewer clients contacted the Legal Advice Desk to submit labour law-related issues.

Most clients of the Legal Advice Desk are male 30 to 40-year-olds involved in employment disputes. Women in the same age category consult the Legal Advice Desk mainly about legal matters concerning private law, family law and labour law-related problems.

More than half of contacts take place over the phone. Nearly a quarter of clients come to the desk.

Client contacts Legal Advice Desk

Client contacts Legal Advice Desk

Fewer assigned lawyers

A person with a serious legal problem who lacks the financial means to solve their problem can rely on subsidised legal aid. In such cases, the Legal Aid Board can assign a lawyer, mediator or bailiff.

This occurred 430 thousand times last year, a decrease by 1 percent from 2009. In civil law and administrative law, the number of assigned cases is still growing, unlike in criminal law where the amount of assigned cases has been in decline since 2008. The last category chiefly includes men under the age of 30. Women in the 30-50 age bracket generally receive legal aid in private law and family law-related cases.

Assigned lawyers and legal problems

Assigned lawyers and legal problems

Ineke Engelhard and Frits Huls