Legal companion service for child sexual crime victims

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 3 — The provision of a legal companion service for sexual misconduct victims is among the new concepts introduced in the Legal Aid (Amendment) Bill 2017 (Act 26), said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said.

She said the service would be given specifically to the child victims during proceedings in court.

“This is one of the five amendments in the bill,” she said in a statement after tabling the bill for second reading in the Dewan Rakyat today.

She also said that the bill would also ensure that public funds allocated by the government for legal aid was given only to Malaysians.

The bill also, among others, carries the definition of legal aid in the act to clarify the type of aid given, provides for a restructure of the registration fees and improves the affordability test in line with the current policy of the government.

With the amendment to the bill, she said, the government had streamlined the giving of legal aid service to low-income earners such as those who come under E-Kasih, 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) and the B40 group.

“The amendment to the act is to ensure the sustainability of the Legal Aid Bureau and the service has an impact on society in getting appropriate justice,” she said.
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