Substantive eligibility

The Clinic provides assistance for many different types of legal problems including adult and youth criminal, and civil cases.

Adult and youth criminal coverage
Coverage is available for financially eligible applicants charged with an indictable offence.

Summary offences are covered where in the opinion of the Clinic there is likelihood of imprisonment or loss of means to earn a livelihood upon conviction.

Civil coverage
A financially eligible applicant may be granted legal aid in a civil matter where that matter is subject to the jurisdiction of the courts served by the Clinic and has merit or a likelihood of success. The case must also be one which a reasonable person of modest means would commence or defend, and the circumstances at the time of application must warrant coverage. The legal costs of commencing or defending the action must be reasonable when compared with the relief sought.

Courts served by the Clinic

  • Georgetown (Supreme Court & magistrates’ courts)
  • Suddie (Supreme Court & magistrate’s court)
  • Magistrates’ courts on the Essequibo Coast & Islands (Anna Regina, Aurora, Charity, Wakenaam, Leguan)
  • Magistrates’ courts on East Bank Demerara (Providence, Linden)
  • Magistrates’ courts on East Coast Demerara & West Coast Berbice (Sparendaam, Vigilance, Cove & John, Mahaica, Mahaicony, Weldaad, Fort Wellington, Blairmont)
  • Magistrates’ court on West Bank Demerara (Wales)
  • Magistrates’ courts on West Coast Demerara (Vreed-en-Hoop, Leonora)

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Cases eligible for legal aid coverage
Types of legal cases that can be covered are:
▪ Criminal charges
▪ Matters brought under the Juvenile Offenders Act
▪ Child welfare matters
▪ Maintenance and custody issues
▪ Domestic violence
▪ Divorce
▪ Division of property
▪ Personal injury and other negligence claims
▪ Contract disputes
▪ Wills and small (valued at under $500,000) estates issues
▪ Debt actions and/or bankruptcies
▪ Landlord and tenant disputes

Types of legal cases that are not covered are:
▪ Conveyancing
▪ Estates valued at more than $500,000
▪ Defamation (libel and slander)
▪ Possession or rent collection proceedings by a landlord
▪ Prescriptive title applications (unless with the approval of the directors)

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