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Safeguards against Favouritism

Professional officers in the Department are required to make a declaration on a case by case basis as and when a conflict of interest arises or is likely to arise.

As a further safeguard, strict guidelines have been laid down governing assignment of legal aid cases to professional officers leaving the Department and entering into private practice. Again, the client's interest is paramount and regard will be given to the following factors:

(a) availability of resources within the Department;
(b) cost-effectiveness of assigning out;
(c) the corresponding burden imposed on the Department in monitoring such cases;
(d) performance record of the professional officer in question; and
(e) whether the firm he/she is joining agrees to let him/her continue handling the legal aid cases and whether it is committed to providing the requisite support to him/her for handling such cases.