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Access to legal aid services in Djibouti

A number of institutions in Djibouti are actively working to protect women's rights by providing them with legal assistance. Women entrepreneurs are among those who should benefit from this type of assistance.

In this section you will find basic information on access to legal aid; which organizations in Djibouti provide this type of service (where women in general can access free or affordable legal aid) .

Ministry of Justice and Penitentiary Affairs, in charge of Human Rights

Legal aid office

The Legal Aid Bureau ensures that the poor have access to justice and the remedies provided for in Article 10 of the Constitution.

Concerned person :

According to Law No. 136/AN/11/6th L on legal aid, priority for legal aid is given to vulnerable groups such as women, children, the elderly and the sick or people living with HIV/AIDS.

Legal aid is financial or legal aid granted by the State to litigants whose income is insufficient to access justice.

That is to say, anyone justifying monthly resources of less than 100,000 Djibouti francs. This ceiling is increased to 150,000 francs when the person concerned proves the existence of three dependent children.

Offered services

1. Legal aid in criminal matters: Legal aid in criminal matters is provided to persons accused or under investigation for various criminal offenses provided for by law. Services include legal advice, bail applications and representation in court.

2. Legal aid in civil matters : Legal aid in civil matters is granted to all persons involved in civil proceedings, as litigants or interested parties.

3. Legal Advice and Assistance : The Legal Aid Office also provides advice and general legal assistance in all legal matters. This may include advice on how the law applies in particular circumstances, legal assistance to prevent and resolve disputes, and advice in court.

4. Public Legal Education : The Legal Aid Bureau provides members of the general public with public legal education on various legal issues and legal procedures. Particular emphasis is also placed on educating the public about the existence and functions of the Legal Aid Bureau.

How do I access legal aid services?

Step 1. The user or his relatives are invited to meet with a lawyer to make their statement. If the user has not come in person because of his incarceration, a personal interview is organized at the place of detention to obtain additional information.

Step 2. The client must then complete a legal aid application form to apply for legal aid.

Step 3. The user must specify his financial situation on the legal aid application form.

Step 4. The declaration, the legal aid form and the supporting documents are then submitted to the authorizing officer for approval.

Step 5. The decision whether or not to grant legal aid is taken.

Step 6. The decision on the amount of the financial contribution to be made by the user is also taken by the authorizing officer.

Compensation granted by the State in the form of legal aid

Legal aid can be requested before or after the case has started. It covers all legal costs (lawyer, bailiffs, etc.)

The allowances that the State pays to the lawyer and/or bailiff who assists the beneficiary of legal aid according to the following scales:

1. For the lawyer

The compensation paid by the State to the lawyer who assists the beneficiary of legal aid is set by the office referred to in accordance with the scale below:

1. Court of First Instance 75,000 DF
2. Court of Appeal 50,000 FD
3. Order on request 15,000 FD
4. Referral 25,000 FD
5. Criminal court (civil party, civilly liable) 50,000 FD
6. Ex officio commission in criminal matters 50,000 DF
7. Supreme Court 75,000 DF

2. For the bailiff

The fixed compensation paid by the State to the judicial officer who lends his assistance to the beneficiary of legal aid is:
1. 4,000 Francs per deed actually issued
2. 10,000 Francs per report
3. 20,000 Francs for the execution of a decision ordering an expulsion.

Contact :

Address: Djibouti, District of Djibouti
Telephone: +253 21 33 33 33
Website: www.justice.gouv.dj
Email: contact@justice.gouv.dj

The National Union of Djiboutian Women

The National Union of Djiboutian Women is a non-governmental non-profit organization resulting from the independence movement which was born on April 30, 1977.

Chaired by the First Lady of the Republic, Her Excellency Mrs. KADRA MAHAMOUD HAID, the UNFD is the oldest non-governmental organization in the country and has branches throughout Djibouti.

The UNFD campaigns for the protection of women's rights by providing them with legal assistance, lobbying and advocacy activities. Women's empowerment and economic independence are the main areas of attention.

Offered services

  • Training on legal rights;
  • Support for victims of gender-based violence through the listening, information and orientation unit;
  • Establishment of a toll-free number 15 20 for victims of gender-based violence.

UNFD events for the benefit of women

  • Workshops
  • Seminars
  • Dialogs

Listening, information and orientation unit of the UNFD

The main function of this unit is to support all women victims of all types of violence (physical, sexual, moral, psychological, marital, verbal etc.)

This cell offers victims:

  • A confidential reception and listening space;
  • Legal support;
  • Medical support;
  • Psychological support;

This unit works in close collaboration with:

  • Public security services: the Gendarmerie and the National Police;
  • The Ministry of Health: the availability of a doctor within the cell;
  • The Ministry of Justice: a lawyer is on duty within the unit for legal support.

Contact :

President Hassan Gouled Boulevard Aptidon
PO Box: 127
Phone: 21 35 04 21
Fax: 21 35 20 85
Website: www.unfd.dj