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Legal aid in Slovenia

Slovenian answers to the
Questionnaire on legal aid 
Conference in Palermo on 12th and 13th November 2009
I./ Procedural aspects
1./ Who decides whether legal aid is granted to a party?
The president of the court, where the case is pending (office for legal aid)
2./ Is it possible to challenge this decision?
Yes, with the law suit in administrative dispute
3./ Is it possible to obtain legal aid already during the administrative procedure?
No, only exception is first legal advice in matters of health care, pension, disability and social security and unemployment insurance (article 25/2 Legal Aid Act - LAA)
4./ Is legal aid valid for the whole procedure, legal remedies included or is decided separately for each level of the law suit?
It depends on the request, but it could be decided separately
5./ Do applications for legal aid have any impact on the course of the procedure, in particular on the run out of time limits (f.e. for legal remedies)?

Grant of the legal aid must be decided within the time limits for certain legal remedy


II./ Prerequisites for legal aid
1./ Financial means
a./ Are there thresholds concerning income ruled by law or by court practice?
Yes they are, determined by the law 
b./ Are there also such thresholds for real estates and other values?
Yes they are, determined by the law
c./ Are there special rules for legal entities (societies, associations)?
Yes there are, there are no thresholds concerning income for NGOs and associations working in the non-profit, public interest and are registered in the appropriate register (article/1-10 in connection with article 11/4 LAA) 
2./ Is the possible outcome of the case of relevance for granting legal aid? 
Yes, it is
3./ Are there other criteria for granting or refusing legal aid?
That the case is important for the applicant’s personal and socio-economic status and the expected outcome of the applicant or his family is vital (article 24/1-2 LAA)
III./ Benefits 
1./ What kinds of costs are covered by legal aid?
a./ Court fees
No, because they are covered by special law under which the applicant can apply for exemption 
b./ Costs of witnesses, interpreters and experts
c./ The party’s travel expenses
d./ Advocates or other representatives 
d.a./ Under which conditions are advocates or other representatives at the disposal of the beneficiary in order to represent him in the lawsuit?
They must agree to be representatives of the beneficiary
d.b./ How are these advocates or other representatives selected? Has the party any influence in this selection procedure?
The applicant may choose the person responsible for carrying out legal aid. If not, the person is selected ex officio alphabetically from the the list provided by Bar Association, or alphabetically from the list submitted by the Chamber of Notaries Slovenia.


d.c./ Who covers the costs for these advocates or other representatives?
The state
e./ Has legal aid an influence on the obligation of the beneficiary to refund certain expenses of opposing parties if he finally looses the case?
Granted legal aid does not cover the cost of proceedings and the actual expenditure and rewards of reference of the counter party (article 9 LAA).

IV./ Can legal aid be revoked? 
1./ Under which conditions is it possible to revoke legal aid?
The state has the right of the law suit in administrative dispute
2./ Can it be revoked even retroactively and can recovery of the state’s expenses be ordered? Which are the conditions for such a decision?
Yes - unduly received legal aid, it is considered already paid legal aid, which was granted to the beneficiary on the basis of false declarations or withhold data (article 43/1 LAA)

3./ Are there time limits for such decisions?
Since the LAA is not setting time limit for issuing such a decision shall apply mutatis mutandis Code of Obligations provision governing unfair acquisition. So 5 year limitation period.

V./ Practical importance of legal aid
1./ What is the percentage of cases with legal aid in general?
In Year 2008 0,37 %
In Year 2009 0,5 %
./ Are there any scopes of administrative law where legal aid is of special importance? What is the percentage of cases with legal aid in these particular fields of administrative law?
Constitutional rights and freedoms 
In Year 2008 33 % of Granted legal aid
In Year 2009 57 % of Granted legal aid