Singapore Budget 2015: More accused to have access to legal aid

SINGAPORE - More accused persons would soon have access to legal representation.

The enhanced Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (Clas) that will take effect on March 23, will adopt a revised means test that will see more people qualify for free legal aid.

This is part of the Government's efforts to improve access to justice here, said Law Minister K Shanmugam on Tuesday in Parliament.

The government will also provide funding to Clas, which is administered by the Law Society.

The enhanced scheme will benefit up to 6,000 people every year. Apart from improving access to justice, the Law Ministry will also continue its review of the family justice system, said Mr Shanmugam.

A slew of family-related legislation will be reviewed and more training avenues will be organised for family lawyers.

He emphasised that the system will continue to aim to protect families as much as possible.

"The court process should not worsen the anguish for the family," he said.