27 Sep 2016

Call for more legal aid support for French overseas territories

11:25 am on 27 September 2016

There has been a call in France to extend assistance to lawyers in overseas territories to ensure people have access to legal aid.

The suggestion was made by a Senator from French Guyana in a letter to the French justice minister Jean-Jacques Urvoas.

Georges Patient said a system should be set up that reimburses travel costs to lawyers who often need to travel hundreds of kilometres.

This he said would allow people of limited means to be able to be defended.

He said in the case of Wallis and Futuna, which judicially is attached to New Caledonia, lawyers need to travel almost 2,000km one way.

Mr Patient said in the case of French Polynesia, the French state is already covering expenses.