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The Age: "Debt trap: People imprisoned for crime are being punished twice" - 11 July 2018

"Being incarcerated is not the only punishment faced by those who are convicted and jailed. Prisoners are often punished financially. It is almost impossible for them to do simple things such as cancelling direct debits for an electricity or gas service; cancelling leases on rental properties; or paying mobile phone bills. When they leave prison, they can be hit with unexpected debts." > More

SBS: "UN grills Australia on multiple failures to protect women against violence" - 11 July 2018

"Cuts to women's shelters and legal aid, the merging of the Family Court with the Federal Circuit Court, and the influence of Men's Rights Activists on policy making were roundly criticised.This week, the key UN Committee on gender equality asked a multi-agency Australian government delegation how Australia is implementing the primary convention on women's rights and gender equality." > More

The Guardian: "Plea to Fix 'broken system' as NT reveals child prison population entirely Indigenous - 4 July 2018

Northern Territory Aboriginal legal service is pleading with the government to try alternatives to juvenile incarceration after recent revelations that every child in NT's detention facilities is Indigenous. > More

SMH: 'Not soft on crime': push for specialist indigenous court - 28 June 2018

The state's barristers and police are pushing the NSW government to urgently fund a specific indigenous court in a bid to lower the "spiralling number" of Aboriginal people in jail. > More

Canberra Times: Calls continue for ACT government to raise criminal age - 28 June 2018

The Human Rights Law Centre has called on the ACT government to raise the age a child can be held criminally responsible from 10 years old to 14 years old. > More

Review of Commonwealth Legal Assistance Arrangements - 31 May 2018

Separate and concurrent reviews will be undertaken of the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-2020 (NPA) and the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program (ILAP). The reviews are expected to commence in early June 2018 and completed in December 2018. They will help inform future funding arrangements for legal assistance services beyond 30 June 2020. > More

NDIA acknowledges record level of complaint - 31 May 2018

Pro Bono Australia News: "The National Disability Insurance Agency has admitted it is 'concerned' about the record level of complaints it is receiving, after new figures revealed the agency received more than 4,000 complaints in the past three months." > More

OUT NOW - NLAF Quarterly Highlights Report (Jan to Mar 18) - 10 May 2018

Find out more about what NLAF has been working on during the first quarter of 2018. > More

Data on incarceration rates raise pressure to close the gap - The Australian - 10 May 2018

"Disproportionate indigenous incarceration rates are in sharp focus with two significant new documents: one, a submission to the Closing the Gap policy review calling for sweeping reform, and the other a fine-grained data analysis showing the unequal rate at which crime problems are resolved for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders."- Stephen Fitzpatrick, The Australian > More

Nowhere to go: NDIS participants in the criminal justice system at risk of falling through the gaps - 2 May 2018

Legal Aid NSW News:Recent law reform work highlights the impact of National Disability Insurance Scheme market failure on some of our most vulnerable clients. > More

Fines: are disadvantaged people at a disadvantage? - 26 April 2018

The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW have published a paper on 'How fines impact on disadvantaged people'. > More

Open Letter: Pathways to Justice - Incarceration Rate of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples - 26 April 2018

CLC NSW invites you to join representatives from across the legal sector in NSW in signing an open letter to the Commonwealth and NSW Attorneys General to implement the recommendations of the Australian Law Reform Commission's Report. If you or your organisation wants to sign the open letter please complete the online form found in this link. > More

Prison report targets child protection - 18 April 2018

The National Indigenous Times reports:A national inquiry into child protection laws and processes affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children is one of 35 wide-ranging recommendations in a major report on the over-representation of Indigenous people in Australian prisons. > More

We need evidence-based law reform to reduce rates of Indigenous incarceration - 11 April 2018

On March 28, the Australian Law Reform Commission (ALRC) report on reducing Indigenous incarceration was tabled in parliament. Its recommendations aim to decrease Indigenous contact with the criminal justice system and reform punitive laws that entrench Indigenous disadvantage. > More

Mandatory sentencing leads to unjust, unfair outcomes–it doesn't make us safe - 29 March 2018

"A system can't be fair or just if the marginalised and vulnerable are the first to be affected by it. Juveniles, persons with mental illness or cognitive impairment, and Indigenous peoples are often disproportionately impacted by mandatory sentencing." > More

Calls for change amid indigenous 'crisis' - 28 March 2018

Governments are being urged to take immediate action as a new report shows the rate of indigenous incarceration is a "persistent and growing problem". > More

NY Times: A Billionaire and a Nurse Shouldn't Pay the Same Fine for Speeding - 20 March 2018

"For people living on the economic margins, even minor offenses can impose crushing financial obligations, trapping them in a cycle of debt and incarceration for non payment." > More

Law changes could see pokie machine numbers rise in vulnerable areas - 14 March 2018

"Proposed changes to poker machine laws announced by the NSW government could increase the number of machines in high-risk areas and increase pokie profits by an estimated $80 million a year." > More

How fines impact on disadvantaged people - 14 March 2018

Using LAW Survey data, this paper reveals that fines problems disproportionately affect disadvantaged people. The most disadvantaged were particularly vulnerable to fines problems, and the adverse consequences resulting from fines problems increased as the level of disadvantage increased. > More

Report - Improving the NDIS Participant and Provider Experience - 28 February 2018

Published by the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA), this report of the Pathway Review (the Review) brings together work undertaken by the NDIA with participants and other stakeholders to fully review the pathway experience. The report is a result of all of that work up to February 2018. > More

New Domestic Violence Unit study provides valuable data to inform roll out - 28 February 2018

The Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) of Legal Aid NSW began delivering services in January 2016. A new study by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Legal Aid NSW Domestic Violence Unit: process evaluation of the first nine months, examined the early operation of the DVU. > More

UN cautions Australia over welfare policies - 14 February 2018

UN's Special Rapporteur on Extreme Poverty has delivered a scathing assessment of Australia's welfare policies describing them as 'punitive' and harmful to women. He accuses the government of pursuing policies that 'stigmatise' and 'marginalise' poorer sections of society. > More

25 years of the Disability Discrimination Act: Panel Discussion - 14 February 2018

The 25th anniversary of the commencement of the operation of the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 (Cth) (DDA) will occur on 1 March 2018. To celebrate, the Australian Human Rights Commission will be hosting a panel discussion at PWC's Barangaroo Offices in Sydney on this day. The event will include a facilitated panel discussion on the successes and challenges of the DDA. > More

Round 1 of Law and Justice Foundation grants program now open - 24 January 2018

The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW's Grants Program aims to improve access to justice, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged people, by supporting selected projects to improve access and decrease barriers to justice, or through research, to identify need or ways to improve access to justice.The first grant round for 2018 opened on Tuesday 23 January and closes at 5pm, Saturday 31 March 2018. For more information, download our flyer or email grants@lawfoundation.net.au > More

New $45 million Victorian plan to 'break cycle' of homelessness - 18 January 2018

A $45 million state government initiative targeting Victorians sleeping rough has been hailed a -critical turning point- in the ongoing battle to combat the chronic issue of homelessness. > More

NLAF Highlights Report (September to December) now available - 18 January 2018

View our newsletter for all the latest news of the NSW Legal Assistance Forum. > More

Housing is a human rights issue and 2018 must be the year to address it - 10 January 2018

Homelessness is on the rise, even in the world's richest countries. We are at a critical moment. Globally, housing conditions have never been this fraught. Homelessness and its accompanying death toll are on the rise, while the number of vacant homes owned by corporate and high net worth investors continues to grow. Data from Australia indicates a whopping 1 million vacant investor homes. > More

Jail challenge lies ahead for Tasmania - 10 January 2018

Simply throwing criminals in jail doesn't solve the underlying problems of law and order, experts say. > More

Bourke police helping reduce domestic violence with Operation Solidarity - 4 January 2018

Community collaboration to stem crime in Bourke is being hailed with violent offence rates the lowest they have been in decades. The latest crime figures have shown a plummet of almost 25 per cent in domestic violence related offences in the past 24 months to June this year. > More

The year's creeping tide of racism - 3 January 2018

Was 2017 the year of the white supremacist? There are signs that intolerance, prejudice and hatred may be on the rise. White supremacist and anti-immigrant groups, inspired by global developments, have been operating in open view, in ways unseen for two decades. > More

Prisons at breaking point but Australia is still addicted to incarceration - 3 January 2018

The Guardian reports that even as crime rates fall, jails all over the country are experiencing significant overcrowding at vast costs to taxpayers. > More

The dignity of people behind bars should never be negotiable - 20 December 2017

December 17 marks two years since the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the Nelson Mandela Rules, the minimum standards for how we should treat people behind bars. And so it is fitting that today we judge our nation through Mandela's eyes, how we choose to treat the men, women and children who are locked away in prisons across Australia. > More

Guilty Plea Reforms and Impact on Backlog - 6 December 2017

The NSW Bar Association said the reforms, which are aimed at encouraging offenders to plead guilty to crimes early, will not reduce the enormous backlog in the District Court, which deals with the majority of serious criminal cases. More funding for judges and appropriate legal representatives is required. > More

Young and working hard to get out of long-term unemployment - 6 December 2017

Close to one in five unemployed young people have been out of work for at least a year despite trying just as hard as older jobseekers to find employment, a report has found. > More