Some of the legal profession's best minds gathered on Friday (19 November) to discuss options for the further improvement of access to justice.
Convened by Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland, the Federal Civil Justice System Roundtable was attended by Chief Justices of the Federal and Family Courts of Australia, the Chief Federal Magistrate, representatives from the Law Council of Australia, National Legal Aid, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, the Association of Dispute Resolvers, the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia, and those who use the civil justice system.
The Roundtable was proposed in the 2009 Access to Justice Report: A Strategic Framework for Access to Justice in the Federal Civil Justice System.
"The Roundtable is an opportunity to bring together and consult with a broad cross-section of relevant stakeholders to find new ways to improve access to the civil justice system," said McClelland.
"[It] will provide an opportunity for an exchange of views, the development of a broader understanding of challenges and opportunities and the generation of new and innovative ideas that will inform consideration of the Government's future reforms."
It is hoped that the Roundtable outcomes will build on action to date, which includes an injection of $154 million, over four years, into legal assistance as well as a new national partnership with States and Territories on legal assistance services and the Access to Justice website.