State legal aid services to be expanded

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During its meeting on March 24, the Standing Committee on Justice supported to discuss a draft revision of the Law on Legal Assistance at the plenary session.

       Noting that the Law on Legal Assistance, which came into force in 2014, provides free state legal assistance only to insolvent defendants, Minister of Justice and Internal Affairs Kh.Nyambaatar said, “The State Advocate of the Legal Aid Center under the Ministry of Justice is responsible for providing legal services and legal advice to indigent defendants. The center has a total of 31 branches and 72 employees in eight districts of Ulaanbaatar, 21 provinces and two soums. From 2014 to 2020, the center provided legal advice to a total of 62,502 citizens and provided legal services to 19,042 people involved in 17,506 criminal cases.”

The draft revision clarifies the grounds for refusal to provide legal assistance, the right to appeal in case of disagreement with decision of refusal, and the responsibilities of citizens and law enforcement agencies. It defines the structure, organization and functions of legal aid organizations, and clarifies the legal status, working conditions, guarantees and other related issues of a state attorney.

The bill initiators believe that an integrated legal aid system and database should be established by harmonizing the existing formal and informal legal aid systems for indigent people.

During the meeting, State Secretary of the Ministry of Justice B.Baasandorj said that due to insufficient budgets for the Legal Aid Center, opportunities to increase access to activities are limited.

RULE OF SUBCOMMITTEE ON IMMUNITY OF LAWMAKERS APPROVED

On the same day, the Standing Committee on State Structure approved the rule of the Subcommittee on Immunity of Lawmakers.

Head of the subcommittee N.Enkhbold said, “During the drafting of the subcommittee’s rule, a comparative study of the legal environment and experience of some foreign countries regulating the activities of the parliamentary immunity committee was conducted. In particular, the legal environment, functions, procedures and experience of the structural units in charge of the immunity of members of the supreme legislative bodies of Australia, Germany, Hungary, South Korea and Russia were studied. If necessary, direct detailed research can be conducted.”

The subcommittee shall have the main function of studying, making proposals and conclusions for proposals from organizations and officials specified in the law within the issues related to early dissolution of Parliament, suspension of lawmakers and withdrawal of parliamentarians. 

During the meeting, the standing committee supported to change the composition of the Subcommittee on Voter List and Registration Control.

Based on the relevant provisions of the Act of Parliament and the Law on Parliamentary Procedure, a draft resolution provides for exemption of Deputy Prime Minister S.Amarsaikhan from the subcommittee and appointment of lawmaker G.Ganbold for a member of the subcommittee.

The standing committee unanimously supported the draft resolution and decided to discuss it at the plenary session.

J.ERDENEBULGAN’S APPOINTMENT SUPPORTED

The Standing Committee on State Structure supported the Supreme Court’s proposal to appoint J.Erdenebulgan as member of the Constitutional Court.

Article 65.1 of the Constitution of Mongolia states, “The Constitutional Court consists of nine members. Three of them shall be nominated by Parliament, three by the president and three by the Supreme Court, and appointed by Parliament for a term of six years.”

J.Erdenebulgan

PhD J.Erdenebulgan graduated from the National University of Mongolia (NUM) with a bachelor’s degree in law in 1994. He received obtained his master’s degree in law in 1995 and doctorate in law in 2012. J.Erdenebulgan served as archivist of the Dundgovi Province Court from 1988 to 1989, as professor of the Law School of NUM from 1995, as head of Training Department of NUM from 2004 to 2006 and as associate professor of the Department of Criminal Law of NUM from 2006 to 2015. He was appointed as director of the Law School of NUM in 2015.

Misheel Lkhasuren

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