The Government approved this Tuesday the draft of the Organic Law on the Right of Defense, a norm that develops the essential aspects of this fundamental right and establishes the rules to guarantee citizens’ access to Justice and the rights and duties of lawyers.
In a press conference after the Council of Ministers, the head of Justice, Félix Bolaños, reported on this new push by the Government to a text that It was already in parliamentary processing in the previous legislature and declined with the calling of elections. The text consolidates the standards of protection of the right of defense, included in article 24 of the Constitution and developed in the different jurisdictional orders, procedures and actions.
“We have considered that it was necessary to regulate this right to defense and do so through Organic Law, develop a fundamental right and expand it with respect to those limits, to that scope that the courts had already established in their rulings,” explained Bolaños. The rule It addresses principles such as the right to a trial without undue delays, to have a hearing in all judicial proceedings in which one is affected, to the invariability of judicial decisions or to use means of evidence. Also the right to indemnity, which establishes “that there can be no retaliation for having initiated legal actions,” Bolaños said.
As news, the minister has highlighted that the bill extends the guarantee of the right of defense to extrajudicial means conflict resolution such as mediation, arbitration and conciliation.
The bill also establishes that people in situations of special vulnerability will be able to enjoy free legal assistance, which will no longer be provided only to those who demonstrate a lack of financial resources.
This is the first law which includes the right of citizens to have the Administration of Justice address them in “clear, simple, understandable and accessible” language. both in notifications of acts, resolutions and procedural communications as well as in any information related to their causes.
The bill establishes “how to adapt the right to defense to the existence of electronic means and the existence of telematic means”, which “is already the norm in the operation of our public Justice service”, according to the minister. .
And, as for people with disabilities, the law obliges all judicial and Justice Administration headquarters to be “completely and universally accessible” to them.
Minister Bolaños has assured that it is, ultimately, a “guarantee” law, “focused on citizens” and committed to the agility, digitalization and innovation of the public service of Justice.