Legal Aid

What does legal aid entail ?

Legal aid is a service providing citizens with access to justice and legal advice.

In the context of legal aid, the costs and fees of the lawyer are covered by the State.

There are 2 different types of legal aid :

  • First-line legal aid (initial advice)
  • Second-line legal aid (appointing of a lawyer)


 

 

Who may benefit from legal aid ?

The lawyer’s intervention under second-line legal aid is either completely or partly free, depending on the financial situation of the applicant.

Completely free legal aid :

  • Person living alone whose monthly net income is below 1.026 euros
  • Person cohabiting with another and whose household’s net monthly income is below 1.317 euros

Partly free legal aid :

  • Person living alone whose monthly net income is comprised between 1.026 and 1.317 euros
  • Person cohabiting with another and whose household’s net monthly income is comprised between 1.317 and 1.607 euros

Please note that the income of all people living in the same household are accumulated, and that all types of income are taken into consideration, including alimony and maintenance contributions received by the applicant and/or the members of his household, but except family allowances.

Deduction per dependent person : 188,22 euros since 1st September 2018

Legal aid is completely free for those falling into one of the categories below, upon production of the supporting documentary evidence :

  • A beneficiary of social-integration income or social security assistance (CPAS)
  • A beneficiary of income guaranteed to the elderly (National Pensions Office)
  • A beneficiary of income top-up allowances for the disabled (other than integration allowance) (DGPH – Vierge noire)
  • A person who cares for a child benefiting from guaranteed family allowances
  • A social-housing tenant paying a minimum rent
  • People held in detention
  • Minors
  • A mentally-ill person, insofar as the procedure set in the Act of 26 June 1990 on the protection of mentally-ill people is concerned.
  • A person in the process of a collective debt-settlement procedure, or a person who wishes to consult a lawyer in order to launch such procedure.
  • A foreigner, though for the sole purpose of lodging an application to regularise residency or commence recourse against an order to leave the country
  • A person over-extended by debt

Which pieces of documentary evidence should be provided ?

Every person falling into one of the abovementioned categories must produce the following pieces of documentary evidence (depending on the category they belong to) as well as the application form for legal aid, duly fulfilled and signed.

 

Catégories Appréciation de la situation Pièces probantes
Personne isolée

Gratuité totale : Revenus mensuels nets en dessous de 1.026 €.

Gratuité partielle : Revenus mensuels nets entre 1.026 € et 1.317 €.

Fournir au moins :

  • Certificat récent de composition de ménage.
  • Tout document attestant des revenus des 2 derniers mois et des moyens d’existence pour le demandeur, en ce compris le pécule de vacances et l'éventuelle prime de fin d'année.
  • Le dernier avertissement extrait de rôle pour le demandeur.

Validité : 2 mois.

Personne isolée avec personne à charge ou personne cohabitante

Gratuité totale : Revenus mensuels nets du ménage en dessous de 1.317 €, après déduction de 188,22 € par personne à charge.

Gratuité partielle : Revenus mensuels nets du ménage entre 1.317 € et 1.607 €, après déduction de 188,22 € par personne à charge.

Fournir au moins :

  • Certificat récent de composition de ménage.
  • Tout document attestant des revenus des 2 derniers mois et des moyens d’existence, en ce compris le pécule de vacances et l'éventuelle prime de fin d'année, pour le demandeur et les personnes majeures reprises sur la composition de ménage.
  • Le dernier avertissement extrait de rôle pour le demandeur et les personnes majeures reprises sur la composition de ménage.

Validité : 2 mois

 

If it deems it necessary, the Legal Aid Bureau may request all useful information from the applicant, e.g. in particular his last tax assessment, to check whether the financial conditions for benefiting from second-line legal aid and judicial assistance are met.

  • A composition of household
  • Income evidence of all adult household members of legal age
  • Evidence of perception and/or payment of contributive shares or alimony payments (if applicable).
  • Documents demonstrating that he falls into one of the abovementioned categories and may therefore benefit from completely free legal aid
  • Attention : the documentary evidence must be no older than 2 months.

Except in case of emergency, absent documentary evidence, no appointing will be made.

 

What you also need to know

The payment of a moderate provision (maximum 125 euros) may be requested from the beneficiary of partly free second-line legal aid.

The payment of fees may also be requested from the beneficiary of second-line legal aid beneficiary, be it completely or partly free, in case the lawyer’s intervention would have enabled him to perceive monies authorising the payment of an indemnity. The law (article 508/19ter Judicial Code) strictly defines the conditions in which a lawyer is entitled to claim fees and how much he can claim.

The benefit of second-line legal aid may be withdrawn in case the beneficiary does not fulfil anymore the necessary conditions (e.g. if his personal or administrative situation changes in the course of procedure) or does not collaborate anymore to the protection of his own interests.

Lawyers are also subject to professional secrecy when they deal with a file under second-line legal aid.

For more information : contact the Liege Bar Legal Aid Bureau (BAJ)

Where and when are the staffs on duty ?

Staff on duty for initial consultation (first-line)
Staff on duty for specific services (second-line)