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The Government responds to the repeated demands of the Legal Profession and will pay the Legal Shift monthly

The Council of Ministers, at the proposal of the Minister of Justice, Rafael Catalá, has today approved the Royal Decree that regulates the direct granting of subsidies worth 37.6 million euros in the 2018 financial year to the General Council of the Spanish Lawyers and the General Council of Attorneys of Spain in matters of free legal assistance and the General Council of Official Colleges of Psychologists for psychological assistance to victims of crimes.

In accordance with the Royal Decree, within the scope of the Ministry of Justice, 33.9 million euros will be allocated to the General Council of Spanish Lawyers and 2.8 million to the General Council of Attorneys of Spain for the provision of free legal assistance. The services that are financed under this subsidy are prior advice to those who want to claim judicial protection of their rights and interests, assistance by a lawyer to the detainee, prisoner or accused who has not designated him, as well as the defense and free representation by a lawyer and attorney in the judicial procedure.

The payment of the subsidies will be distributed among the schools within the territorial scope of the Ministry of Justice based on the number of professional actions carried out and the established scales and will be made monthly, instead of once each quarter has ended as has been done until now. This is an initiative widely demanded by the legal profession and the attorney general's office to speed up the receipt of their corresponding remuneration and allow professionals to collect more immediately.

In 2017, 276,695 matters were handled through the free legal assistance service in the territory managed by the Ministry, of which 22,360 were matters related to gender violence.

With regard to psychological assistance to victims of crimes, 914,000 euros will be allocated for specialized care in the Victim Assistance Offices dependent on the Ministry of Justice and in the Information and Assistance Office for Victims of Terrorism of the National Court, as well as for support in the issuance of expert reports. These subsidies will be articulated through the signing of collaboration agreements with the General Council of Official Colleges of Psychologists.

The total number of people treated last year by psychological professionals in the Victim Assistance Offices of the Ministry of Justice was 32,881.

Free legal assistance is recognized in the Spanish Constitution, which guarantees the right to effective judicial protection of those people who do not have the resources to litigate and was subsequently developed in Law 1/1996, of January 10, on Free Legal Assistance, which establishes that it will be financed by public administrations. The subsidy for psychologist schools is based on Law 4/2015, of April 27, on the Statute of Crime Victims, which recognizes the right of every victim to free access to assistance and support services. provided by public administrations, as well as those provided by victim assistance offices.

The processing of this Royal Decree is carried out through the procedure provided for in the General Subsidies Law, which establishes that aid may be granted directly for cases in which reasons of public, social or humanitarian interest are proven. The extension of the 2017 General State Budget does not extend to this type of subsidies and the approval of a rule is necessary to maintain this expense once the financial year has expired.


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