2014 NFP Law Handbook Launches
21 November 2013 at 9:00 am
Fitzroy Legal Service has launched the 2014 Law Handbook to deliver plain English legal-speak for Victorians.
“Originally called the Legal Resources Book, the Law Handbook is a comprehensive, plain language guide to the legal system, containing a summary of areas of the law that most often affect people in everyday life,” Fitzroy Legal Service’s Executive Officer Claudia Fatone.
It has been published annually, in hard copy form, since 1977 and in 2009 was developed into a website – the Law Handbook Online.
“The Law Handbook launch is our opportunity to thank the 70 legal contributors who volunteer their time and expertise to write the Law Handbook, and without whom this valuable resource could not exist,” Fatone said.
“Legal assistance is increasingly becoming out of reach for the Australian community. In 2012 the Australia Institute conservatively estimated that 490,000 Australians each year miss out on legal help for financial reasons or lack of knowledge.
“Not all of these problems would involve a substantial legal process, such as going to court; many could be solved via minor interventions such as timely and relevant information and advice.
“Plain English legal information, such as the Law Handbook, is critical in educating people about the law and assisting them to resolve legal issues earlier and through less adversarial processes than going to court.”
The Law Handbook covers everyday situations including wills, fencing disputes, buying and selling. It aims to equip people with sound legal information before problems escalate.
“Small problems can easily become large problems without legal information. We believe clear and accessible legal information, such as The Law Handbook and the Law Handbook Online, can help individuals and families better deal with everyday legal problems,” Fatone said.
The Law Handbook Online attracts 30,000 visits per week, growing significantly since becoming a free online service, with over three million visits since its launch in 2009.