ALA supports Law Council Justice Project’s call for investment in community legal services

29th Aug 2018

Investing substantial funds into community legal assistance services and reviewing the resourcing needs of the whole judiciary system, as recommended by the Law Council of Australia’s Justice Project, will help make Australia’s legal system significantly more accessible, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).    

“The Justice Project is an excellent initiative that has provided clear direction for future action to guide the Government and legal profession to ensure better access to justice in Australia,” said Noor Blumer, National President, ALA.

“We strongly support the recommendation in the report that calls for additional funding for community legal assistance services such as Legal Aid and Community Legal Centres. The report has called for a minimum of $390 million per annum to be invested in these services.

“These facilities provide critical frontline legal services for people who would otherwise struggle to afford justice. Without access to community legal services people with legitimate personal injury or compensation claims are more likely than ever to simply give up on seeking justice through the legal system.”

Amongst many other recommendations the Justice Project’s final report also calls for a review of the resourcing needs of the judicial system.

“This review is critical,” said Ms Blumer. “We are particularly concerned that, with the implementation of the NDIS, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal will not be sufficiently resourced to cope with demand.

“Insufficiently resourced courts and tribunals are a huge impediment to fair and timely access to justice.”

The ALA also commends the Justice Project’s proposal to introduce Justice Impact Tests which will be used to assess how changes to the law will affect the judicial system and the possible unintended consequences of legislative revisions.

The Australian Lawyers Alliance is a national association of lawyers, academics, and other professionals dedicated to protecting and promoting justice, freedom and the rights of the individual.