Inquiry into Legal Aid and Access to Justice

Inquiry into Legal Aid and Access to Justice

On 17 June 2003, the Senate referred the following inquiry to the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee for inquiry and report by 3 March 2004. The Committee tabled an Interim Report (Word 38KB) on 25 May 2004 and intends to table its final report on or before 8 June 2004

Terms of Reference

The capacity of current legal aid and access to justice arrangements to meet the community need for legal assistance, including:

(a) the performance of current arrangements in achieving national equity and uniform access to justice across Australia, including in outer-metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas;

(b) the implications of current arrangements in particular types of matters, including criminal law matters, family law matters and civil law matters; and

(c) the impact of current arrangements on the wider community, including community legal services, pro bono legal services, court and tribunal services and levels of self-representation.

Public Hearings

Wednesday 10 March 2004 Canberra Program (Word 26KB) Transcript (PDF 179KB)
Monday 9 February 2004 Canberra Program (Word 30KB) Transcript (PDF 368KB)
Thursday 13 November 2003 Sydney Program (Word 32KB) Transcript (PDF 669KB)
Wednesday 12 November 2003 Melbourne Program (Word 33KB) Transcript (PDF 623KB)
Tuesday 11 November 2003 Port Augusta Program (Word 34KB) Transcript (PDF 485KB)


Lodging Submissions

The closing date for lodgement of submissions with the Committee is Thursday 21 August 2003. Submissions become Committee documents and are only made public after a decision by the Committee. Unauthorised release of submissions is not covered by parliamentary privilege. Further assistance can be obtained by phoning the secretariat on (02) 6277 3560.

The Committee encourages the lodgement of submissions in electronic form to Please ensure that a postal address and phone number is enclosed with all email submissions.

Submissions may also be faxed to (02) 6277 5794.

Final Report - Tabled 8 June 2004

A Government Response was presented out of session on 3 February 2006.  Please contact the Senate Table Office for this information.

For further information