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We are a public institution whose function is to offer, in a comprehensive and free way, legal assistance and guidance to citizens who do not have the financial conditions to pay the expenses of these services. In addition, we promote the defense of human rights, individual and collective rights and groups in vulnerable situations.
The free legal assistance to the vulnerable is a fundamental right and guarantee of citizenship provided for in article 5, LXXIV of the Constitution of the Republic. The gratuity of justice covers attorney’s fees, experts, and judicial or extrajudicial costs.
Public defenders are trained in Law and join the institution with at least two years of practice, after passing a rigorous competition of tests and titles. In defense of the interests of its public, the defenders work in the first and second degrees of jurisdiction, with specific title and attributions due to the matter to be examined.
Public defenders litigate in all instances, regardless of who occupies the opposite pole of the procedural relationship, whether individual or legal, Public Administration or not, in all its segments.
In criminal procedures, because of the Constitution and its principles, anyone can have their defense sponsored by a Public Defender, regardless of their economic condition. In this case, if the assisted person can afford to pay attorney’s fees and is sponsored by the Public Defender’s Office, the Judge may fix fees in favor of the Center for Legal Studies (Cejur).
It should also be noted that not only the individual can be served by Defensoria. Legal entities in financial difficulties can avail themselves of the sponsorship of Defensoria. Non-profit societies and community associations may also be sponsored, provided that they declare insufficient resources.
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