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Annual Report 2019
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Annual Report 2019 > 1. Overview

1.1 During the year under review, the Duty Lawyer Service’s (“DLS”) Duty Lawyer Scheme had represented 18,594 defendants charged with criminal offences in the Magistrates’ Courts, representing a decrease of 17.53% over the previous year. The number of subjects the DLS Care or Protection Scheme represented in Care or Protection Proceedings in the Juvenile Courts was 157 representing a decrease of 16.93%. The DLS Legal Assistance Scheme for Non-refoulement Claimants had handled 901 claims representing a decrease of 68.75% over the previous year. The DLS Free Legal Advice Scheme had the pro bono service of 954 volunteer lawyers at nine evening centers advising 7,256 persons representing an increase of 4.35% over the previous year. The DLS Tel Law Scheme had recorded a total of 18,549 calls representing an increase of 12.83% over the previous year. The DLS Tel Law website had recorded 613,660 hits representing an increase of 0.8% over the previous year. The DLS’ website's Visitor Sessions had recorded 381,210 hits, representing a decrease of 3.94% over the previous year.

Further Expansion of the Duty Lawyer Scheme

1.2 With effect from 3 April 2019, the Duty Lawyer Scheme has been further extended to cover contempt proceedings in the Competition Tribunal following the earlier extension of such proceedings in the Labour Tribunal (s.42 of the Labour Tribunal Ordinance Cap.25) and Small Claims Tribunal (s.35A of the Small Claims Tribunal Ordinance Cap.338) on 3 December 2018. So far no such case in these Tribunals has been referred to the Scheme.

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