LEGAL AID

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS

   SECTION

PART I
Preliminary

   1.   Short title

   2.   Interpretation

PART II
Establishment and Functions of Legal Aid Botswana

   3.   Establishment of Legal Aid Botswana

   4.   Objectives of Legal Aid Botswana

   5.   General functions and powers of Legal Aid Botswana

PART III
Constitution and Qualifications of Board

   6.   Board of Directors

   7.   Powers and functions of Board

   8.   Tenure of office

   9.   Qualifications, removal and suspension of members

   10.   Vacation of office by members

   11.   Filling of vacancy

   12.   Remuneration and allowances

PART IV
Meetings and Proceedings of Board

   13.   Election of Chairperson and Vice Chairperson

   14.   Meetings of Board

   15.   Quorum and procedure of meetings of Board

   16.   Committees of Board

   17.   Disclosure of interest

   18.   Confidentiality

PART V
Chief Executive Officer and Other Staff of Legal Aid Botswana

   19.   Chief Executive Officer

   20.   Appointment of Secretary of Board

   21.   Appointment of staff and agents of Legal Aid Botswana

   22.   Conditions of employment of staff of Legal Aid Botswana

PART VI
Financial Provisions

   23.   Funds of Legal Aid Botswana

   24.   Financial year

   25.   Accounts and audit

   26.   Pension and other funds

   27.   Annual report

PART VII
Miscellaneous provisions

   28.   Indemnity

   29.   Privileged communication

   30.   Direction for legal aid by court

   31.   Costs, security for costs and court fees

   32.   Regulations

Act 18, 2013,
S.I.143, 2014.

An Act to provide for the establishment of Legal Aid Botswana for the purpose of providing access to justice by indigent persons in Botswana; to define the functions of Legal Aid Botswana; to provide for infrastructure and resources of Legal Aid Botswana; and for matters incidental thereto.

[Date of Commencement: 1st January 2015]

1.   Short title

   This Act may be cited as the Legal Aid Act.

2.   Interpretation

   In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—

   “Attorney-General” means the Attorney-General of the Republic of Botswana appointed in terms of section 51 of the Constitution;

   “Board” means the Board of Directors of Legal Aid Botswana;

   “Chief Executive Officer” means the Chief Executive Officer of Legal Aid Botswana appointed as such under section 19;

   “indigent person” means a natural person who qualifies for legal aid in terms of such means test as may be prescribed;

   “Law Clinic” means a Law Clinic under the control and management of a legal practitioner, certified by the Council of the Law Society of Botswana and which provides legal services to indigent persons;

   “Law Society of Botswana” means the Law Society of Botswana established under section 55 of the Legal Practitioners Act;

   “Legal Aid Botswana” means the body established under section 3;

   “legal practitioner” means an attorney or advocate admitted to practice under the Legal Practitioners Act; and

   “member” means a member of the Board appointed under section 6.

PART II
Establishment and Functions of Legal Aid Botswana (ss 3-5)

3.   Establishment and functions of Legal Aid Botswana

   (1) There is hereby established a body to be known as Legal Aid Botswana.

   (2) Legal Aid Botswana shall be a body corporate with perpetual succession and a common seal, capable of suing and being sued in its own name and, subject to the provisions of this Act, performing such acts as bodies corporate, may by law, do or perform.

4.   Objectives of Legal Aid Botswana

   The objectives of Legal Aid Botswana are to provide legal advice, legal representation and public education on legal matters to indigent persons.

5.   General functions and powers of Legal Aid Botswana

   Legal Aid Botswana shall do all that is necessary or expedient to achieve its objectives under section 4, and without derogating from the generality of those objectives, Legal Aid Botswana shall—

   (a)   provide legal advice, legal representation and public education on legal matters;

   (b)   purchase or otherwise acquire or to hold or alienate any movable or immovable property;

   (c)   hire or let any movable or immovable property;

   (d)   exercise the duty of utmost care to ensure reasonable protection of the assets and records of Legal Aid Botswana;

   (e)   act with fidelity, honesty, integrity and in the best interests of Legal Aid Botswana in managing the financial affairs of Legal Aid Botswana;

   (f)   on request, disclose to the Minister or Parliament, all material facts, including those reasonably discoverable, which in any way may influence the decisions or actions of the Minister or Parliament;

   (g)   seek, within the sphere of influence of the Board, to prevent any prejudice to the financial interests of the state;

   (h)   fix conditions subject to which legal aid is to be rendered;

   (i)   fix conditions relating to the payment of contributions to Legal Aid Botswana by persons to whom legal aid is rendered;

   (j)   conduct public awareness programmes to promote public understanding of the objectives, role and activities of Legal Aid Botswana and the public’s legal rights; and

   (k)   do all such things and perform all such functions as may be necessary for, or incidental to, the attainment of the objectives of Legal Aid Botswana.

PART III
Constitution and Qualifications of Board (ss 6-12)

6.   Board of Directors

   (1) There shall be a Board of Directors for Legal Aid Botswana, which shall be the governing body of Legal Aid Botswana.

   (2) The Board shall consist of the following members, appointed by the Minister —

   (a)   two legal practitioners, appointed in consultation with the Law Society of Botswana;

   (b)   a person who sits in the Ntlo ya Dikgosi, established by section 77 (1) of the Constitution, appointed in consultation with Ntlo ya Dikgosi;

   (c)   a person having knowledge and experience in non-government organisations and special interest groups; and

   (d)   three independent non-executive directors, who have knowledge of, and experience in —

      (i)   business management,

      (ii)   information technology, or

      (iii)   accounting or auditing.

   (3) The Attorney-General and the Chief Executive Officer shall be ex-officio members of the Board.

   (4) The Minister may appoint other persons to sit on the Board as alternates to the substantive members of the Board appointed under subsection (2).

   (5) The alternate members appointed under subsection (4) shall be appointed by the Minister, if the Minister is satisfied that such persons meet the requirements for qualifications for members set out under section 9.

   (6) The Minister shall, by notice in the Gazette, publish the appointment of members and their alternates, specifying the dates of their appointment and the period for which they are appointed to the office of the Board.

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