Access to Justice

Access to Justice

8 December 2009

© Commonwealth of Australia 2009
ISBN 978-1-74229-087-4

View the report as a single document - (PDF 1019KB)

Letter received from Mr John Corker, Executive Director, National Pro Bono Resource Centre - (PDF 91KB)

View the report as separate downloadable parts:

Members of the Committee (PDF 6KB)
Terms of reference (PDF 4KB)
List of figures, tables and graphs (PDF 15KB)


Abbreviations (PDF 6KB)
Overview and conclusions (PDF 23KB)

Legal aid commissions
Length, complexity and efficiency
Alternative means
Community legal centres
Indigenous legal services

Recommendations (PDF 29KB)
Chapter 1 - Introduction (PDF 10KB)

Previous reports
Conduct of the inquiry
Note on references

Chapter 2 - The ability of people to access legal representation (PDF 114KB)

The current context of funding
The National Legal Needs Survey
Australia's human rights obligations
Current Australian Government legal aid programs
Lack of access to legal representation

Chapter 3 - The adequacy of legal aid (PDF 176KB)

An overview of legal aid commissions
The Legal Aid Program
Figure 3.1 – Legal Aid Commission funding: 2004-2009  
Figure 3.2 – Commonwealth core legal assistance funding: 2009-2013  
Table 3.1 – Estimated payments to the states/territories for legal aid
Figure 3.3 – State/territory legal assistance funding: 2004-2009
Figure 3.4 – Australian, state and territory government funding for Legal Aid Commissions: 2004-2010
The adequacy of funding
Figure 3.5 – Tasmania Legal Aid: Applications Received, Approved, Refused: 2007
Figure 3.6 – Legal Aid Commission applications by matter type: 2007-2008
The Commonwealth/state funding divide
Funding in the Federal Financial Relations framework
The Legal Aid Priorities and Guidelines

Chapter 4 - The Cost of Delivering Justice (PDF 98KB)

The Commonwealth's annual court costs
Table 4.1 – Federal court system costs: 2008-09
The cost of disbursements
Exposure to adverse costs orders
The cost of legal representation
Figure 4.1 – Supply of legal aid by the private profession
Figure 4.2 – Supply of legal aid by the private profession in regional and remote areas
Table 4.2 – Private legal fees and legal assistance fees in criminal law matters (Victoria)
Table 4.3 – Victoria Legal Aid fees paid to criminal barristers
Table 4.4 – Comparison of legal professionals' income: 2008

Chapter 5 - Measures to reduce the length and complexity of litigation and improve efficiency (PDF 92KB)

Measures in civil law litigation
Measures in family law litigation
Measures relating to self‑represented litigants
Figure 5.1 – Applications in the Federal Magistrates Court: Finalisation Timelines: 2007-09

Chapter 6 - Alternative means of delivering justice (PDF 56KB)

Early intervention and prevention
Alternative dispute resolution
Restorative justice
Justice reinvestment
Clinical legal education
Indigenous specific issues

Chapter 7 - The adequacy of funding and resource arrangements for community legal centres (PDF 441KB)

An overview of community legal centres
The Community Legal Services Program
Figure 7.1 – Commonwealth, state and territory funding for the Community Legal Services Program: 1999-2009
Figure 7.2 – Commonwealth, state and territory funding for Community Legal Centres: 2006-07
Figure 7.3 – Commonwealth, state and territory funding for Community Legal Centres: 2009-10
The adequacy of funding
Figure 7.4 – Actual and estimated community legal centre funding: 1996-2007
Graph 7.1 – Community legal centre legal needs: 2007-2008 
Graph 7.2 – Community legal centre client needs: 2008-2009  
Recruitment and retention issues

Chapter 8 - The ability of Indigenous people to access justice (PDF 188KB)

An appropriate legal assistance service
Indigenous legal services
The Legal Aid for Indigenous Australians program funding
Figure 8.1 – Legal Aid for Indigenous Australians program funding: 2005‑2010
The adequacy of funding
Table 8.1 – Comparative funding levels (in '000 dollars rounded) across comparable Attorney-General's Department programs 2006-07
Figure 8.2 – Comparative funding levels for comparable Attorney‑General's Department programs: 2005-2010
Table 8.2 – Indigenous and non-Indigenous prisoners (comparative): 2000‑08
The Family Violence Prevention Legal Services program
The Indigenous Law and Justice Framework

Additional comments by the Australian Greens (PDF 14KB)

Purchaser/provider funding arrangements
A right to legal representation
The Migration Act 1958
Legal Services Research Centre
Political neutrality and CLC funding

Appendix 1 - Submissions received (PDF 14KB)
Appendix 2 - Witnesses who appeared before the Committee (PDF 10KB)

For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3560
Fax: +61 2 6277 5794