Guide to Giving
MEDIA, JOBS & RESOURCES FOR THE COMMON GOOD
Federal Election  |  Politics

Lawyers to Campaign Over Legal Aid Funding Cuts


Thursday, 12th May 2016 at 10:57 am
Lina Caneva, Editor
Lawyers from across Australia are launching a major national campaign on legal aid funding in the run up to the federal election, claiming neither of the major political parties are responding to the legal aid funding crisis.

Thursday, 12th May 2016
at 10:57 am
Lina Caneva, Editor


0 Comments


FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

 Print
Lawyers to Campaign Over Legal Aid Funding Cuts
Thursday, 12th May 2016 at 10:57 am

 

Lawyers from across Australia are launching a major national campaign on legal aid funding in the run up to the federal election, claiming neither of the major political parties are responding to the legal aid funding crisis.

Following the announcement of the early federal election, legal aid lawyers said they expected to hold rallies in major cities during Law Week, which takes place between 16 and 20 May.

Law Council of Australia president Stuart Clark said most Australians would be shocked at Commonwealth legal aid funding neglect, which has seen a massive rise in unmet legal need.

“Successive federal governments have ripped hundreds of millions of dollars from legal aid, effectively crippling this vital justice safety net,” Clark said.

“As a result, ordinary Australians are being forced to represent themselves in court on a daily basis, or worse ignore their legal problems, with potentially devastating consequences.

“Most people assume that if they require legal help and cannot afford it, legal aid is there to help. Unfortunately they are wrong – the funding crisis is now so bad that even many Australians who are living beneath the poverty line are not eligible. For most people it’s simply unavailable.”

Clark said that due to enormous cuts in legal aid funding, justice is now reserved for those with the means to afford a lawyer.

“For the rest, it is a lottery,” he said.

“This is the question at the heart of the Law Council’s legal aid funding campaign.”

Clark said that the choice to adequately fund legal aid should have been easy for governments concerned about budget repair.

“The Productivity Commission recommended an immediate $200 million injection into legal aid, which it has found will provide a net economic benefit over the long term.

“Increasing numbers of unrepresented people have filled the court system, creating enormous inefficiencies. Meanwhile, the downstream impact of unmet legal need on health, unemployment and community services has inestimable social and economic costs, which could be avoided.”

Clark welcomed the government’s commitment to allocate money to support legal aid as part of its new package to reduce violence against women and their children; and the Opposition’s promise to reverse community legal centre cuts from 2014 budget, but said much more was needed.

“While supported, these commitments don’t address the systemic funding problem,” Clark said.

“Given decades of deep cuts legal aid, much more funding is needed to end this injustice.

“Whoever wins this election must commit to properly fund legal aid and end this needless crisis once and for all.”


Lina Caneva  |  Editor |  @ProBonoNews

Lina Caneva has been a journalist for more than 35 years, and Editor of Pro Bono Australia News since it was founded in 2000.

AON

FEATURED SUPPLIERS


NGO Recruitment is Australia’s not-for-profit sector recru...

NGO Recruitment

...


HLB Mann Judd is a specialist Accounting and Advisory firm t...

HLB Mann Judd

Brennan IT helps not-for-profit (NFP) organisations drive gr...

Brennan IT

More Suppliers

Get more stories like this

FREE SOCIAL
SECTOR NEWS

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE

Public Interest / Private Interest – A Fundamental Distinction

David Crosbie

Thursday, 14th September 2017 at 8:46 am

Boosting Philanthropy For A Stronger Australia

Wendy Williams

Monday, 11th September 2017 at 5:16 pm

Students With a Disability Face Cuts in Five States and Territories Next Year

Luke Michael

Friday, 8th September 2017 at 10:08 am

POPULAR

New Study Warns NFPs Need Strong Culture and Profits to Survive

Luke Michael

Tuesday, 5th September 2017 at 12:02 pm

Moves to Stop Volunteering at Overseas Orphanages

Luke Michael

Wednesday, 13th September 2017 at 1:54 pm

Peak Body Demands Action to Stop NDIS Leaving Aboriginal People Behind

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 5th September 2017 at 8:37 am

Future Uncertain for Disability Organisations Following Funding Cuts

Wendy Williams

Tuesday, 19th September 2017 at 8:29 am

Write a Reply or Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Guide to Giving
pba inverse logo
Subscribe Twitter Facebook

The social sector's most essential news coverage. Delivered free to your inbox every Tuesday and Thursday morning.

You have Successfully Subscribed!