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
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Lawyers to rally for legal aid funding

Lawyers to rally for legal aid funding

funding shortfall

As the election campaign heats up, legal bodies have launched a national campaign to push the government for increases in legal aid funding.

During next week’s Law Week events, lawyers will hold rallies in every capital city around Australia to draw attention to the funding shortfall in the legal aid sector.

The coalition government yesterday announced a $30 million package for legal assistance services as part of its National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and Their Children.

Its recent budget also included an allocation of $257.1 million for the legal aid system for the year 2016-17, which is predicted to drop to $248.7 million in 2017-18.

The Opposition, meanwhile, has pledged to reverse the Community Legal Centre cuts introduced in the 2014 budget if it is elected.

Nonetheless, Law Council of Australia president Stuart Clark warned the sector remained dangerously underfunded.

“Unfortunately, decades of cuts to legal aid from both parties has effectively crippled this vital justice safety net,” he said.

“The system is now at a point where most Australians who can’t afford a lawyer simply won’t get one.”

Pointing to a recent Productivity Commission report calling for a $200 million injection into the sector, he suggested legal aid funding could save money over the long term.

“Increasing numbers of unrepresented people have filled the court system, creating enormous inefficiencies,” he said.

“Meanwhile, the downstream impact of unmet legal need on health, unemployment and community services has inestimable social and economic costs, which could be avoided,” he added.

“The Productivity Commission and other independent economic analysts have found that investing in legal aid would deliver significant net savings to taxpayers.”

The Tasmanian Law Society has also thrown its support behind the national campaign.

“The Law Society of Tasmania remains concerned at the underfunding of Legal Aid in Tasmania,” president Matthew Verney said.

“It is, and will continue to, result in diminished access to justice for those Tasmanians who need representation but cannot pay for a private lawyer.”

Events will be held across the country, with details available on the Law Council of Australia website.


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

Lawyers to rally for legal aid funding
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Marriage equality flag
Aug 17 2017
ALHR backs High Court challenge to marriage equality postal vote
Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) has voiced its support for a constitutional challenge to ...
Give advice
Aug 17 2017
A-G issues advice on judiciary’s public presence
Commonwealth Attorney-General George Brandis QC has offered his advice on the public presence of jud...
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'...
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...
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 & ...