Applicants to judge legal aid

THE public will be invited to sit on a monitoring committee overseeing the performance of the Legal Aid Department.

Policy and Administration Co-ordinator Andrew Leung Kin-pong said all legal aid applicants would be asked their opinions of the department's service.

Applicants would also be asked to indicate their willingness to participate in the monitoring committee.

In unveiling the department's performance pledge yesterday, Mr Leung said the standard would be reviewed in a year.

The director of Legal Aid, Lady Pauline Cheung Cheng Po-lin, said clients would be received in an efficient and courteous manner.

Under the pledge, an applicant for legal aid in civil matters can expect to complete formalities within an hour of his arrival at the office, and an appointment with a lawyer within 28 working days.

In criminal cases, applications should be processed within three hours.