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Parties urged to spend more on law

Parties urged to spend more on law

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On behalf of the legal profession, the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) has today (28 July) called upon the 2010 Federal Election candidates to commit to 10 legal priorities, with increased legal aid funding at the top of the list.

LIV president Steven Stevens said the "call to the parties" would be sent to all Victorian election candidates and the key priority is access to justice for all.

"Access to justice for all is a central tenet of democracy," said Stevens. "It is not political fashion. It cannot come and go on the whim of Canberra mandarins. Australia's law courts were built with, and are funded by all taxpayers, rich and poor. So all Australians, rich and poor, should have ownership of this resource."

In addition to seeking restoration of Commonwealth legal aid funding from 32 per cent to 50 per cent, other issues which must be addressed, according to LIV, include strengthening human rights, moving towards a unified national profession and incentives to recruit and retain lawyers in regional areas.

"We welcome the opportunity for change in the law that the elections will bring. And we look forward to the public policy debate during the Federal and State election campaigns," Stevens said. "We will ensure that the voice of the Law Institute of Victoria, whose ever-riding job it is to champion law reform and access to justice for all, will be heard loud and clear."

>> What do the election promises mean for lawyers? Click here to read the latest legal-related election news

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