MOSCOW, November 9 - RAPSI. The Federation Council has approved on Wednesday a law on free legal assistance for citizens. The legislation obliges public officers to advise people on legal matters free of charge.

The law also binds public officers to help socially unprotected people to compose written complaints and even to present their interests in courts.

The legislation is expected to come into force on January 15, 2012 if it is approved by the president.

The law obliges federal ministries, federal agencies and regional government agencies to render free written and oral advice to people on legal matters.

The law extends the range of people granted free legal assistance.