Written Answer by Minister for Law, Mr K Shanmugam, to Parliamentary Question on the Annual Number of Legal Aid Applications Received by the Legal Aid Bureau
14 February 2022 Posted in Parliamentary speeches and responses
Mr Murali Pillai (Member of Parliament for Bukit Batok SMC)
To ask the Minister for Law in the past five years (a) what is the annual number of applications for legal aid that have been received by the Legal Aid Bureau; (b) of these, how many applicants are successful; and (c) what is the percentage of unsuccessful applicants who do not pass the means test.
- The Legal Aid Bureau (LAB) provides legal advice, legal assistance and legal aid on civil matters, to Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents with limited means. LAB receives an average of 8,500 applications each year – slightly more than half are for legal advice and assistance, and the remaining for legal aid.
- Applicants for legal advice or legal assistance have to pass the means test. Applicants for legal aid have to pass both the means test and legal merits test. Unsuccessful applicants may fail the means test or legal merits test, or both.
- The information on the applications LAB received between 2017 and 2021 are provided in the table below.
|Total number of applications received||9,012||9,512||9,494||7,722||6,651|
|Number of successful applications||5,840||6,290||6,411||5,466||4,928|
|Number of unsuccessful applications1||986||1,317||1,624||1,669||680|
|Number of applications that did not satisfy the means criteria||741||1,071||1,370||1,405||546|
|Percentage of unsuccessful applications that did not satisfy the means test criteria||75%||81%||84%||84%||80%|
1. Unsuccessful applications are applications which failed the means test and/or legal merits criteria. They do not include the applications which did not proceed (e.g. applications where the applicant withdrew or was uncontactable).↩
Last updated on 14 February 2022