find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
On The Edge Of Justice

On The Edge Of Justice

PEOPLE WITH a mental illness are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the NSW Community, according to a report released by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW last week. On…

PEOPLE WITH a mental illness are among the most vulnerable and disadvantaged people in the NSW Community, according to a report released by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW last week.

On the Edge of Justice: the Legal Needs of People with a Mental Illness in NSW, states that people with a mental illness have lower levels of education and employment, housing arrangements that are less stable, and higher levels of poverty than the general population.

The Law and Justice Foundation’s research series, of which On The Edge Of Justice is the sixth report, concentrates on the relationship between mental illness and other forms of disadvantage. The series aims to identify the legal issues and needs of disadvantaged demographic groups.

Foundation researchers consulted widely with legal and non-legal service providers and interviewed many people with a mental illness who shared first-hand their experiences of the legal system.

The report identified legal issues as, among others, the Mental Health Act, discrimination, housing and social security, employment, consumer issues, domestic violence and family law.

However, there are many barriers people with a mental illness face when dealing with legal problems. They include a heightened susceptibility to stress; fear and intimidation during the legal process; cognitive impairment causing problems with comprehension, organisation and time management; and communication problems.

“A very significant barrier is the negative perception of people with mental illness within our society. Too often people with a mental illness are considered to lack credibility, and this occurs both in the general community and the legal system,” Geoff Mulherin, director of the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, said.

Equally important is the failure to identify an existing mental illness, he said. “It is not always apparent that a person has a mental illness, and some people are very reluctant or embarrassed to disclose it for fear again of the existing social stigma and the negative perceptions of their credibility.”

The report includes suggestions to help overcome such barriers, including appropriate education and training for legal service providers to improve their awareness and understanding of the needs of people with a mental illness.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

On The Edge Of Justice
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Jetski
Oct 23 2017
How to fail well
The legal profession is due for an attitude adjustment when it comes to perceived failures, accordin...
Consultation
Oct 23 2017
Lawyers slam rushed consultation for SA repeat offenders bill
The Law Society of South Australia has expressed concern for a proposal to roll out new laws amendin...
IBA
Oct 23 2017
The pursuit of happiness in the law
A panel of legal experts have explored how to define success in the legal profession, and how lawyer...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...