Statement by Tim Chalker, Board Chair of the Legal Aid Commission in Newfoundland and Labrador, on Duty Counsel Day
Today, we are acknowledging duty counsel lawyers across Canada. I would remise, however, if I did not first thank the provincial and federal governments for their funding for legal aid.
For without this funding legal aid would not exist.
Duty counsel are essential in the court process. These dedicated lawyers, among other things, meet with those charged, inform them in plain language of their rights and obligations and assist them through the initial court process.
Most Canadians don’t know that legal aid duty counsel are always on call. As such they’re available for consultation when the need arises.
I would like to thank those who are acting as legal aid duty counsel and who have acted in the past, for they have made our legal system the envy of most jurisdictions.