The Dutch Legal Aid Board
(in Dutch called: 'Raad voor Rechtsbijstand')
The Raad voor Rechtsbijstand (Legal Aid Board) was instituted by the Minister of Justice (Lord High Chancellor). Its aim is to make sure you will have legal representation should you require any. If you cannot afford a solicitor, the Council will provide financial support. Your solicitor will receive a ‘toevoeging’, a monetary allowance. You will pay part of the cost yourself. The size of your contribution depends on the height of your income. Please find all details regarding this procedure here.
Instead of a solicitor, you may also ask for the assistance of a ‘mediator’. A mediator is a negotiator who acts as a link between you and the party you have a disagreement with. The conflict will be resolved using the help of a negotiation expert. There will be no need to go to court, thus saving you money and time. The council will pay a share of the mediator’s fees. Please see the 'Useful links' section at the right side of this page.
What else does this council do?
The Raad voor Rechtsbijstand has arrangements with solicitors and mediators regarding the size and distribution of the allowance. The Council functions as a watchdog group with regards to the quality of the solicitors’ and mediators’ work. If they fail to meet the agreed standards, they will no longer receive the monetary allowance. Through this website you will be able to find the nearest appropriate solicitor. Find some useful links on the right side of this page.
The Raad voor Rechtsbijstand does not employ solicitors or mediators. Please direct all questions to our colleagues at the Juridisch Loket (Legal services counter) who will provide free advice and information. They can also assist you in finding a suitable solicitor or mediator. Please click here for the Juridisch Loket website. The site will show you the nearest office. For more information, please call 0900 – 8020 or go to our Contact page (in Dutch).
The Raad voor Rechtsbijstand will also assure you of immediate legal representation if the police takes you into custody. Within 24 hours a ‘piket’ (‘assigned’) solicitor will visit you and help you answer the judicial questions you will be asked by the police. The same applies to involuntary admission to a psychiatric hospital. Refugees at the border will also receive help from a solicitor.