find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Corporate Lawyer (3-5 years PQE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· National firm acting for domestic and multinational clients
View details
Lawyer – CTP Insurance (2-3 years)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Well-regarded team offering mentoring and career development
View details
More than 150,000 people turned away from CLCs

More than 150,000 people turned away from CLCs

people

The ‘shoestring’ budget of community legal centres has resulted in the disappearance of legal services for more than 150,000 disadvantaged Australians every year.

That is the disturbing finding of the National Association of Community Legal Centres’ (NACLC’s) National Census Report, which was released yesterday (15 June).

“These are not just statistics but real people, often highly vulnerable, who cannot receive the help they need,” said NACLC chair Michael Smith.

Mr Smith said it was “extremely concerning” that CLCs could not meet demand for legal services during FY2013/2014.

“The total figure for turnaways is actually much higher than [the reported figure], as only about 75 per cent of our member centres were able to provide details of their turnaways,” Mr Smith said.

A large proportion of people trying to access legal assistance identified as Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander (13.3%) or as a person with a disability (25.4%).

“We know CLCs assist the most vulnerable and disadvantaged members of the community,” Mr Smith said.

The NACLC report is the latest to emphasise the desperate need for more legal aid funding.

The Productivity Commission’s recent Access to Justice Arrangements report recommended an immediate $200 million increase in funding per year.

Since January 2014, $60 million of Commonwealth funding for legal aid has disappeared.

Earlier this year the federal government reversed planned cuts of $25.5 million over two years, but the recent budget has been criticised by the NACLC and the Greens for failing to address the problem of “chronic underfunding”.

“Legal assistance services [have been] operating on a shoestring budget,” said Senator Penny Wright.

Mr Smith said: “Given the high level of turnaways, it is vital that all legal assistance providers, including CLCs, receive an immediate cash injection of $200 million per year by all levels of government, as recommended by the Productivity Commission.”

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

More than 150,000 people turned away from CLCs
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
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 & ...