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Understanding The Interplay Of War, Conflict And Legal Aid

War, a three-letter word but impacts lakhs of people. It is a state when people of two groups fight due to their conflicting problems with each other. Political activity by means of which States which are not able to resolve the conflict/dispute between them regarding their interests then they through armed force, fight to decide which is the stronger so that they can impose its will on the other and takes the control over that.

This also determines whether a particular state survives or not, whether the future will be same or will change, whether the people will be ruled by one government or another. Due to these conflicts normal people have to face many problems who live in that particular place where war is going on, like the access to necessities i.e. water, food & healthcare.

Challenges That Occur Due To War

As the conflict starts, people lose their lives in that, they have to leave their original home, their family & their children. The situation becomes so tense that somehow they live in such devastating conditions, the displacement of people from their original homes can be internal or external depending on the conflict. With no proper food, electricity, no security, nothing and they have to protect their lives.

Due to this displacement, people not only face physical violence, but they also suffer psychologically, as this gives them psychological trauma and these wars not only affect an individual, but it affects the entire generations of individuals. People suffering from wars & conflicts can get justice through legal aid methods, as Legal Aid provides them the way/right to get some relief from the problems they faced due to the war & conflicts.

Legal Aid:

Means assisting the people by providing them with free advice about the law, how to deal with a certain issue and by providing help to the poor people in fighting their cases without any pay. The poor & needy people who cannot afford the cost of paying the fees of lawyers for any legal proceeding in the court or tribunal, this tool is very important for them in order to get justice.

India i.e. Bharat, a sovereign, socialist, secular & democratic republic assures its citizens the right to justice, equality &liberty. In the year 1980, a Committee for Implementing Legal Aid Schemes was formed under Hon'ble Justice P.N. Bhagwati to provide legal assistance to the poor people. It was the year 1987 when a systematic network was created to provide legal aid assistance through the 1987 Legal Services Authorities Act.

To ensure that any citizen cannot be denied justice due to any financial or any other reason. The provision related to providing legal aid in India is Article 39A of the Constitution of India which ensures that everyone should get legal justice irrespective of social or economic differences.

Legal Challenges Faced By War Refugees

Due to war, people move from their home to new temporary or permanent places so now they are known as war refugees as they displaced due to war. Refugees have rights which should be respected & respect for human rights is necessary to provide them justice, to register, protect & to resettle them. The restrictions which controls the movement of the refugees due to which they are denied from the freedom to move freely throughout the territory & they are denied of their legal rights.

Refugee Convention:

The 1951 Convention which is related to the refugees provides the legal rights to refugees. The General Assembly decided to establish the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees by its resolution 319 A (IV) of 3 December 1949.

Role Of Non-Governmental Organizations

There are many NGOs continuously working for the betterment of refugees and to provide them support. By providing not only legal aid but also humanitarian aid to the refugees, the NGOs ensure that each and every individual also the one standing at the last in a que can get legal aid. They can prevent and challenge any abuse done by the police.

The refugee loses his opportunity to ensure justice due to lack of financial resources to pay for legal representation in that particular place where he/she migrated, so these NGOs help them by providing them aids without any cost or at a very less amount.

Challenges faced by NGOs such as language barriers work as a hindrance in the process of delivering legal aid to the refugees. In the fight for access and opportunity for justice and rights, including time spent, the costs associated with the legal process constitute a major challenge due to which people who suffers prefer to avoid the entire process completely. Due to lack of a proper system of redressal, the refugees cannot get access to justice easily.


When one state surrenders an individual who is accused of a crime to the other state for prosecution of crimes committed in that country's jurisdiction, then it is known as extradition. Legal representation is a very important aspect in ensuring fair extradition proceedings. There is a need for fairness of trial, which is protected in Article 6 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Legal representation is important as it safeguards the rights of the individual trapped in that condition.

Counsel plays a very important role in the extradition case as it is the counsel only who represents the accused. The counsel ensures that the rights of the individual should be protected, he/she also listens to the accused side and understands the issue deeply, ensuring that no injustice can be done to the individual.

Exploration Of The Challenges Faced By Defense Attorneys In Cross-Border Cases

In cross border cases, the defense attorney must know about the international laws so that she/he can effectively ensure the defense for client. As there are different laws in different countries, which require different procedures and also the legal setup in another country will be different, so there is a requirement to analyze the cases as per that perspective.

To act in the best interest of the client the defense attorney are required to make a plan by discussing with the client.The client can openly speak with the counsel so in cross-border cases the attorneys may face challenges in understanding the language of the client as the defense attorney are responsible for proper investigation of the case. They only have limited tools to obtain foreign evidence, its very critical for the defense attorney to work under such limited conditions.

Interplay Between War, Conflict & Legal Aid

War and conflict create such devastating conditions that the over all society has to face the circumstances and then arises the need for legal aid to get relief. In order to protect the human

rights, to maintain rule of law, legal aid plays an important role by providing a medium to get justice. War & conflict involves lot of casualties due to which the people suffer a lot, they lose everything. There's nothing left to eat & live a proper life without difficulties. As there are many people who are uneducated so it becomes more difficult for them to get justice. Lack of awareness of legal procedures involved is also a big factor leading to problems in getting justice/legal aid.

Also, the fear of government machinery like the police due to which people are not able to get their complaints registered in the fear that they will get stuck in a more problematic case. To ensure that all the necessary things are provided to the people, taking note of the legal problems of each & everyone so that it can be solved by assisting the people.

By not only providing lawyers to the people for legal aid, but the NGOs, the government, the helping groups they stand in every situation with the people. Currently, there is a going on between Israel & Palestine, both countries fired missiles on each other, lakhs of casualties happened.

Thousands of people died & many were injured. In both countries there are NGOs & humanitarian groups which are helping the people their working for their betterment. These provide access to justice and better administrative services.

In conclusion, the interchange & the interaction between war, conflict and legal aid is crucial for a better tomorrow, for a better future. Cooperation and alliance of the national level NGOs with the International level NGOs so that they can coordinate with each other if any case come to them regarding any international assistance.

They should always be prepared to deal with any emergency situation and they must have a emergency plan always with them which will be very beneficial in playing a role between the war, conflict and the legal aid. Still many people are not aware of these free legal aid services, so it is the duty of the government to ensure that awareness should be created regarding free legal aid so that the needy can take the advantage of it.

Therefore, the government & NGOs should work in a cooperative manner and with joint initiatives to ensure legal aid to the people & with the ultimate goal to provide legal aid to the people.

Written By: Devang Dubey

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