Call Made For First Nations Legal Aid System

Friday, March 24, 2006 at 15:01



A First Nations politician says Native people need to have their own legal aid commission.


Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Vice-Chief Lawrence Joseph says the move would allow First Nations people to get treated more fairly before the courts.


He raised the issue during this month’s FSIN assembly in Saskatoon, but says the idea itself has been around since the 1980s.


Joseph says most legal aid lawyers have high case loads, and he argues that makes a detailed defence of their client next to impossible.


Joseph also claims there is a tendency for lawyers to look for the plea deal automatically, rather than determining if their client is innocent.


He says the FSIN is prepared to help set up a new system, but it will need a government commitment and resources to make anything happen.