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Civil Procedure and EU LawA Policy Area Uncovered$
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Eva Storskrubb

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199533176

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199533176.001.0001

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Legal Aid

Legal Aid

(p.169) 10 Legal Aid
Civil Procedure and EU Law

Eva Storskrubb

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyses the legislative history, main substantive content, and normative implications of Directive (EC) No 8/2003 to improve access to justice in cross-border disputes by establishing minimum common rules relating to legal aid. The ‘Legal Aid Directive’ aims to provide legal aid and hence support access to justice for natural persons in cross-border civil and commercial matters. The chapter examines the minimum standards introduced that impose an obligation of providing legal aid on the court of the Member State in which the relevant proceedings are pending. It also outlines the measures of simplification introduced including standard forms and deadlines. It contends that the Legal Aid Directive is only a minimum system and does not address several critical matters such as quality of the legal aid or the threshold for eligibility. Therefore, it is argued that despite development heterogeneity remains.

Keywords:   access to justice, minimum standards, standard forms, deadlines, simplification, heterogeneity

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