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Parties show no commitment to legal issues

Parties show no commitment to legal issues

The Labor Party and the Coalition has shown a disappointing lack of commitment to dealing with issues such as access to justice and human rights, according to the Law Council of Australia (LCA).

LCA president Glenn Ferguson voiced his disappointment at the parties' response to the LCA's pre-election questionnaire, which invited the Labor Party and the Coalition to address issues including access to justice, asylum seekers, human rights, anti-terror laws and recruitment and retention of lawyers.

"Both major parties appear to be more interested in playing politics rather than addressing the major policy issues of concern and importance to Australian lawyers and to Australians generally," Ferguson said.

"Even when they were not playing the 'blame game', their feedback to our questions did little to indicate these important issues would be adequately addressed if either party won government," he said.

The parties' response the LCA's access for justice concerns was particularly disappointing, according to Ferguson, with Labor and the Coalition failing to commit to significantly boosting legal assistance sector funding or to introducing initiatives aimed at encouraging more legal practitioners to practice in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia.

The LCA noted that neither party made any commitment to addressing its concerns over the treatment of asylum seekers, particularly with regards to increasing access to legal advice and assistance for those people seeking asylum in Australia.

"The major parties' lack of clear policy direction displayed in response to the issues outlined was, on the whole, very disappointing," he said. "Only the Greens seemed to appreciate the importance of addressing many of these issues as a matter of priority."

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

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Parties show no commitment to legal issues
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