The Queensland Law Society (QLS) has this week called for a greater commitment to legal aid funding from the Queensland Government in the lead up to the state election, due in March.
On 25 November the QLS put forward 11 priority legal profession issues to the Queensland branch of the Australian Labor Party and Liberal National Party, requesting a reply to the issues by 15 December.
The issues cover a range of social and practical concerns including legal aid funding, improving people's right to legal representation before the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal and better resourcing for courts and tribunals.
The QLS has requested that the Government provide adequate and sustainable legal assistance for disadvantaged persons in areas of state law where fundamental human rights are at stake, including an increase in the rates of pay for legal practitioners undertaking state legal aid assignments, as well as recurrent and reliable funding commitments to community legal centres that currently receive non-recurrent funding from the Legal Practitioners Interest on Trust Accounts Fund.
The QLS has also called for better treatment of people suffering from mental health issues and impaired decision-making capacity in the criminal justice system and for awareness to be raised of mental health issues in the community.