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Legal Assistance

Legal Assistance

This Guide has been designed to provide a better understanding of legal assistance, the conditions for obtaining it and all the information needed to apply for it.

If you have already read the Guide, please do not hesitate to complete the application form for legal assistance as soon as possible.

What is it ?

Legal assistance is a financial aid from the Luxembourg State which covers the costs of legal proceedings for the most deprived persons. In particular, it covers the costs of your lawyer.

It thus enables everyone to have access to justice, regardless of their financial resources.

Within the framework of legal assistance, you can also ask the competent Bar Association to assign you a lawyer if you have not yet found one. You can of course also choose a lawyer yourself, for example by using Legal Finder.

What costs are covered ?

Legal assistance covers the costs of the proceedings, and in particular:

In criminal proceedings, legal assistance does not cover the amount of costs and convictions (fines, damages, etc.).

In civil proceedings, legal assistance does not cover procedural fees (costs of expert opinions, bailiffs, translation, etc.) and compensation for abusive and vexatious proceedings (i.e. proceedings initiated with the sole aim of harming someone).

Does that mean my lawyer is free ?

Legal assistance covers the costs of your lawyer, but beware: this does not mean that you have a free lawyer in Luxembourg.

Indeed, when you benefit from legal assistance, the lawyer will invoice directly the Luxembourg State which will pay the bills. As a result, you do not have to pay anything, but the lawyer still bills the authorities for the hours worked and not you directly. The hourly rate is set at 58€ for a trainee lawyer and 87€ for an "admitted" lawyer. If you ever lose the benefit of legal assistance (see below), you will therefore have to reimburse these bills and pay the following ones, if any.

Some lawyers in Luxembourg may be free of charge. This is called pro bono. In general, the pro bono is offered to people in extreme precarious situations or for charitable associations. However, pro bono is completely different from legal assistance, it is not practised by all lawyers and the choice to offer it depends entirely on the decision of the lawyer concerned. Legal assistance should therefore not be confused with pro bono.

What are the conditions for obtaining legal assistance ?

There are two main conditions:

  1. To be:
  1. Insufficient resources

The age is not in the conditions because legal assistance can be paid to adults as well as minors.

What is meant by "Insufficient resources" ?

You are automatically considered to have insufficient resources if:

For other people, you can still receive legal assistance, but the administration will then have to assess your financial resources and those of the members of your household. There is no fixed figure below which you can automatically receive legal assistance. The decision to grant you legal assistance depends on a calculation that takes into account a lot of parameters, which makes each situation different.

There are also cases where, although you have the financial resources to pay the costs of the dispute yourself, legal aid may be granted to you. To do so, you must show serious reasons related to your social, family or material situation.

In case of doubt, it is therefore preferable to submit an application, even if it is unfortunately refused, rather than not doing so when you could have been entitled to it.

Keep in mind that in the event of a dispute with other members of your household, the income of these people is not taken into account. For example, in the event of divorce, if you have no resources while your partner has sufficient resources, you can benefit from legal assistance because his or her income and assets will not be taken into account in the calculation of your own financial resources.

Are there cases where legal assistance is automatically excluded ?

Yes, legal assistance is automatically excluded in the following cases:

How do I apply for legal assistance ?

You need to fill in the application form. You can also find it on the website of the Luxembourg Bar Association (website only in French).

Then send the completed form, together with the supporting documents requested, to the attention of the President of the Luxembourg or Diekirch Bar, depending on where you live. The addresses for sending your application can be found on the website of the Luxembourg Bar (only in French).

If you are detained, your lawyer can make the application for you.

If you encounter difficulties in filling in the form or completing the procedure, your lawyer can also help you.

Is there a time limit to respect ?

You can apply for legal assistance at any time before or during the proceedings. If you get legal assistance during the proceedings, you will be reimbursed for the costs you have already incurred.

In certain cases, especially when there is a particular urgency, a provisional admission to legal assistance may be approved, so that you can benefit from it before the final validation of your case.

Can legal assistance be withdrawn once I have obtained it ?

Yes. It is possible that legal assistance may be withdrawn from you, if:

Please note that when legal assistance is withdrawn, you must immediately reimburse the costs for the period during which you received legal assistance.

Can Legal Finder help me with my application for legal assistance ?

Your lawyer can complete for you or help you to complete your application for legal assistance. Legal Finder can help you find your lawyer but cannot act on your legal assistance application.

Likewise, this Guide is provided for information purposes only, and despite the utmost care in preparing it, Legal Finder cannot be held liable for incorrect or outdated information provided in this Guide.

However, your lawyer is able to accompany you in your application and provide you with further information.

Any more questions ?

Legal Finder has provided you with a concise summary of legal assistance in this Guide, based on the applicable law and the various public sites dealing with the subject (see below). Nevertheless, there are still many special cases and additional information that you can obtain on the official websites of the different authorities concerned. Do not hesitate to consult the following websites to find out more:

For those who wish to do so, you can also read the law concerning legal assistance (only in French).

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