A new platform helps to strengthen people’s access to legal advice and advance digitalization in the Lao PDR.
After a year of development, the Digital Legal Aid Platform of Lao PDR is completed and launched to provide and legal advice to ordinary Lao people, especially vulnerable groups and people living in remote areas of the country.
The Platform aims to increase people’s access to legal aid services provided by Legal Aid Offices of the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) and the Justice Departments in provinces throughout the country, which is being piloted in four provinces for now such as Xiengkhoung, Savannakhet, Attapeu and Sekong.
The government’s Decree on Legal Aid, No.77/Gov, guides on the establishment of Legal Aid Offices, and strengthening their legal aid services and procedures.
Digital Legal Aid Platform is contributing to the implementation of this Decree and in line with the government plan to enhance digital working systems.
Today at the launching ceremony of the Digital Legal Aid Platform, Bountha Songyerthao, Vice Minister of Justice explained the importance of Digital Legal Aid platform to the justice system of the Lao PDR, especially to service the needs of disadvantaged groups who are far to reach for legal aid services. “Digital Legal Aid Launching is just the beginning, challenges remain for us to solve to ensure accessibility, quality and sustainability of legal aid services,” Digital Legal Aid Platform comes as one of solutions to these challenges, Vice Minister of Justice concluded.
Ms. Catherine Phuong, Deputy Resident Representative of UNDP Lao PDR congratulates the Lao government, in particular, MOJ on its commitment to move towards e-governance and e-services. She emphasized, “Digital Legal Aid is an opportunity to strengthen legal aid service provision for vulnerable and hard to reach groups. In particular, the mobile applications and chat functions, or possibly in future using A.I. powered “chatbots” like in many other countries, creates a great opportunity for Lao peoples to seek legal advice for the first time”
UNDP and MOJ will continue to work together on the improvement of the Platform and strengthening capacity of the Legal Aid Offices, the expansion of Digital Legal Aid Platform to other Legal Aid Offices is also being considered following the completion of the pilot phase.
This Digital Legal Aid was produced to be a user-friendly digital legal aid platform by providing guideline for both service providers and users, as well as introduction video for simple steps on access and choices for seeking for legal assistance. Users, Inter alia, will find legal aid service information, contact details of Legal Aid Offices, can send request for legal aid online and receive interactive legal counseling online in form of “Chat”. The Digital Legal Aid Platform can access through this website: https://legal-aid.moj.gov.la/
Source: Lao News Agency