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2013 Archived

Kingsford Legal Centre's new guide for working with Aboriginal people

Kingsford Legal Centre has developed a service manual for the use of their own staff, students and volunteers to build strong, culturally appropriate relationships with Aboriginal clients and communities. The manual aims to help develop the knowledge and skills necessary to work effectively and respectfully with local Aboriginal clients and communities. > More

Do you have an idea for a project to improve access to justice?

The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Grants Program supports community projects that improve access to justice. The next round of applications for general grants to up to $50,000 are now open and will close on 21 March 2014. > More

New videos from LIAC

The Legal Information Access Centre has launched two new video resources on the Australian legal system aimed at non-lawyers. > More

Legal Aid's new resource for working with new and emerging communities

Legal Aid has launched a new guide to assist organisations and their staff develop a better understanding of new and emerging communities and consequently, improve access to services and service quality for clients from these communities. > More

Upcoming Employment Lawyers Forum

The Employment Lawyers Forum will take place at 9 am on Wednesday 21 August 2013 at Lander&Rogers Lawyers, Level 19, Angel Place, Sydney. Topics covered will include:*An overview of rights and responsibilities under the Fair Work Act 2009. *The role of the Fair Work Ombudsman.*Enforcement and strategic compliance activities of the Fair Work Ombudsman. *Accessorial liability under the Fair Work Act 2009. Attendees are able to claim 1 CPD point.

New study - Legal Aid NSW's 50 highest users

A study by Legal Aid NSW which analysed the 50 highest users of legal aid services, found that 80% of these high users were children and young people 19 years and under, and that 82% had their first contact with Legal Aid NSW by the time they were 14.The findings support the development of a new, intensive legal aid service that provides targeted, specialist legal services to a small group of complex needs clients at the same time as brokering a package of police, mental health, education, housing and human services to support these clients, who are amongst the most disadvantaged people in the community.

Legal needs of young people in Australia

The latest Updating Justice Paper from the Law and Justice Foundation summarises findings from the Legal Australia-Wide (LAW) Survey on the legal problems experienced by younger people aged 15–24 years in Australia. Similar to previous studies, the findings show a higher vulnerability to legal problems for younger people compared to the oldest age group. Also in keeping with past research, different ages or life stages were associated with different types of legal problems. Accidents, crime, personal injury and rights problems peaked either at 15–17 or 18-24 years. In addition, younger people were less likely to seek advice from professionals for their legal problems. The policy implications of these findings are discussed.

Knowmore - Legal advice for people navigating the Royal Commission

Knowmore was recently established to provide free legal help to navigate the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.Knowmore is a national legal service, independent of the Royal Commission, targeting people who are considering telling their story or providing information to the Royal Commission. Knowmore operates a free advice line from Monday to Friday from 9 am - 5 pm. Phone 1800 605 762 For more information visit: www.knowmore.org.au

Productivity Commisison Inquires into Access to Justice

The Productivity Commission is undertaking an inquiry into Australia's system of civil dispute resolution, with a focus on constraining costs and promoting access to justice and equality before the law.In particular, the Commission will have regard to: -real costs of legal representation and trends over time; - level of demand for legal services; - factors that contribute to the cost of legal representation in Australia; -whether the costs charged for accessing justice services and for legal representation are generally proportionate to the issues in dispute; -the impact of the costs of accessing justice services, and securing legal representation, on the effectiveness of these services; -economic and social impact of the costs of accessing justice services, and securing legal representation; -impact of the structures and processes of legal institutions on the costs of accessing and utilising these institutions, including analysis of discovery and case management processes; -alternative mechanisms to improve equity and access to justice and achieve lower cost civil dispute resolution, in both metropolitan areas and regional and remote communities, and the costs and benefits of these reforms in Australian jurisdictions and overseas which have been effective at lowering the costs of accessing justice services, securing legal representation and promoting equality in the justice system; and - data collection across the justice system that would enable better measurement and evaluation of cost drivers and the effectiveness of measures to contain these.

New research about non custodial sentencing

The Australian Institute of Criminology has released a report that assesses whether the length of a bond or suspended sentence makes any difference to the time to first new offence. The results suggest that it does and that offenders given long bonds or suspended sentences take longer to reoffend than offenders given short bonds or suspended sentences. The report is available at: www.aic.gov.au

Legal Aid NSW launches new social security outreach service

Legal Aid NSW commenced an outreach advice service at the Social Security Appeals Tribunal (SSAT) in Sydney on 7 May. A legal aid lawyer will attend the SSAT for half a day each week to advise clients about social security matters being reviewed by the tribunal.In some cases, our lawyers will provide ongoing assistance under our minor assistance guidelines.

Nominations for Justice Awards now open

The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW's annual Justice Awards recognise the contributions that individuals and organisations have made to improving access to justice in NSW, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged people.The Foundation is seeking nominations from the public in four Award categories:•Justice Medal•Aboriginal Justice Award•Pro Bono Partnership Award•Law and Justice Volunteer AwardThe 2013 Justice Awards will be presented at a dinner on Monday 21 October 2013 at Parliament House, Sydney. The Law and Justice Address will be presented by Chief Justice Robert French AC.

Walk for Justice with PILCH

The Walk for Justice will take place on Tuesday 14 May 2013. The walk starts at 7.30 am in Hyde Park and finishes in the Domain with a picnic breafast. It is an annual opportunity for the legal community to join together to promote access to justice. The walk celebrates the achievements of the legal profession in their work to meet the legal needs of marginalised people and raises money to support the work of PILCH. > More

Law Survey Findings: Home is where the heart of legal need is

The Law Foundation has released an updating justice paper that sets out the preliminary findings from the Legal Australia-Wide (LAW) Survey about legal need and homelessness. > More

Law and Disorders - Findings from the LAW Survey

New findings from the LAW Survey confirm that illness/disability is strongly associated with legal problems, with problems most frequent among those with a mental illness/disability (particularly if combined with a physical illness/disability). Findings also indicate that legal problems become more common as the severity of illness/disability increases. This occurs for mental, physical and combined mental and physical illness/disability. > More

Cutt Off lll - PIAC releases research report into social impact of utility disconnection - 22 April 2013

The social impact of disconnection from utilities is highlighted in PIAC's latest research report, Cut Off III.Cut Off III is PIAC's third report into the social impact of electricity, gas and water disconnections. Previous reports were issued in 2005 and 2009. > More

What people do about their legal problems - Findings from the Legal Australian Wide Survey - 17 April 2013

The Law and Justice Foundation has recently released another paper in its Updating Justice Series. This paper summarises findings from the Legal Australia-Wide Survey (LAW Survey) about use of advisers for legal problems in New South Wales (NSW). > More

Using community capacity building in child welfare practice and policy

A new publication from Child Family Community Australia examines whether insights from the field of community capacity building can improve child welfare practice and policy in Australia. The paper outlines the concept of community capacity and provides examples of ways in which service providers can apply community capacity building approaches into work with children and families. See: http://www.aifs.gov.au/cfca/pubs/papers/a144213/index.html

New website for Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched a new website that is mobile and tablet fliendly. The site has a lot of new features and enables more interaction - there are places to comment such as on the news stories and more video content. See http://www.humanrights.gov.au/