A public legal service
Legal aid is a government legal service offered to people who meet certain financial eligibility criteria and apply for the service. Legal aid is provided free of charge or with a contribution from the recipient. Every year, legal aid provides thousands of Québecers with access to justice and the means to defend their rights.
Established in 1972, the Commission des services juridiques is the body responsible for the administration within Québec of the Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services.
Legal aid services are provided by lawyers and, on occasion, by notaries. Lawyers are responsible for counselling their clients and representing them before the courts. Depending on the client’s preference, these services are provided either by lawyers who are permanent employees of the legal aid network or by lawyers in private practice.
Legal aid is provided free of charge (also called gratuitous legal aid) if the applicant’s situation fits the eligibility criteria established by the Act respecting legal aid and the provision of certain other legal services and the Regulation respecting legal aid.
May 31, 2018 marks an increase in legal aid eligibility thresholds.
Services requiring a contribution
A person eligible for contributory legal aid is entitled to legal services upon payment of a contribution of between $100.00 and $800.00 toward the cost of services, depending on his or her situation.
With this type of legal aid, it is possible to know the cost of the legal services in advance.