Boost In Legal Aid Funding Urged
7 April 2010 at 3:17 pm
The results of a survey on legal aid provide further proof that the legal assistance sector is in dire need of a significant funding boost, according to the Law Council of Australia.
The PricewaterhouseCoopers report, commissioned for National Legal Aid, shows that Commonwealth legal aid funding has decreased by 12 per cent in real terms since 1996-97.
The Law Council says the findings also demonstrate that injecting funds into the legal assistance sector can save the justice system money in the long term.
Law Council President Glenn Ferguson says that for every $1 spent on Commonwealth legal aid services, up to $2.25 is saved within the justice system.
Ferguson says the findings suggest that there is a strong economic justification for the provision of legal aid, with the benefits easily outweighing the costs of providing those services.
The Law Council, along with its constituent bodies, has long-argued the need for an increase in funding for Australia’s legal assistance sector and urges the Federal Government to address the crucial issue of legal assistance sector funding in the up-coming Federal Budget.
The 70-page NLA Report can be downloaded at www.nla.aust.net.au