Frequently Asked Questions

Is legal assistance with Legal Aid Bureau free?

A contribution is needed to help with the legal processes. The contribution varies from individual to individual depending on the individuals' income

What is the procedure for application for legal aid?

The person who needs legal aid or someone who is representing the person seeking legal aid assistance can visit the Legal Aid Bureau offices. Upon visiting, they will be required to fill out a legal aid application form with assistance from the legal aid assistants. After the application form is filled, it is then submitted to the authorizing officer for assessment. The assessment is to determine whether the person should be provided with legal aid and also to determine the amount of contribution and mode of payment. After approval, the authorizing officer then assigns a lawyer to the case

Do I need to bring anything with me when I apply?

The applicant is supposed to bring any documentation that is helpful to your case. These can be any correspondence and contact details

What will they ask me when I apply?

A Legal Aid Assistant will record the applicants' statement. In the statement, they will require contact details, the other parties’ contact details, your complaint/story and the level of an applicants’ income

Can I choose my lawyer?

After the authorizing officer grants legal aid to the applicants, a lawyer is assigned to the case. A lawyer cannot be assigned to a case based on preference of the applicant

I have an income, can I still apply for legal aid?

Yes, every individual who cannot afford a private lawyer can apply for legal aid

What if I have a legal issue in Malawi, but am a citizen of another country?

Any individual can be assisted by the Bureau, as long as they cannot afford a private legal practitioner

What can I do if I think an error has been made on my assessment or have additional information to provide?

In case a client feels an error has been made on their assessment, they can petition the Director to reassess their issue and their contributions. When a client has additional information that they need to provide to help their case, they can speak with the assigned Legal Aid Officer to give them the additional information

Can I apply for legal assistance if I still have an outstanding balance with Legal Aid Bureau from a previous legal issue?

An individual can still apply for legal assistance even if they have an outstanding balance with the Legal Aid Bureau