Justice Access Research Alert No. 77
May 2019

Child abuse

See Children and young people

Children and young people

Getting the National Redress Scheme right: an overdue step towards justice, Joint Select Committee on oversight of the implementation of redress related recommendations of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Commonwealth of Australia, 2019
INQUIRY: This report considers the key issues which were raised in evidence from the inquiry into the Australian Government policy, program and legal response to the redress related recommendations of the Royal Commission, including the establishment and operation of the Commonwealth Redress Scheme and ongoing support of survivors. The committee received 53 submission in evidence for this inquiry and held five public hearings. This report considers the key issues which were raised in evidence, as well as outlining the redress scheme, examining the elements of the broad policy and design of the scheme, and how these elements affect the implementation of the scheme, and examining issues with the implementation scheme. The final chapter in this report provides the views and the 29 recommendations of the committee.
The views of children and young people in out-of-home care: overview of indicator results from second national survey, 2018, Australian Institute of Health & Welfare, 2019
STATISTICS: Following the second national survey on the views of children and young people in out-of-home care, this report presents data from a sample of children aged 8-17. The data was collected as part of existing local case management processes during the period 1 January-30 June 2018. Updated data for 8 indicators under the National Standards for out-of-home care are presented. In regard to the indicator ‘leaving care’, 67 per cent of those aged 15-17 years reported they were getting as much help as they needed for the ‘accessing legal services’ life domain. The report compares the results with the 2015 survey and is complemented by online data tables.


See Legal aid

Dispute resolution

Resolution of disputes with financial service providers within the justice system, Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee, 2019
INQUIRY: This report details the findings from the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee inquiry which explored the ability of consumers and small businesses to exercise their legal rights through the justice system, and whether there are fair, affordable and appropriate resolution processes to resolve disputes with financial service providers. The committee received 153 submissions and held one public hearing. The report addresses the issues raised with the committee, in particular issues with the accessibility of the court system, and the legal assistance and financial counselling sectors. The committee makes 10 recommendations, two of which relate directly to improving the funding of and access to the legal assistance and financial counselling sectors.

Domestic and family violence

Domestic and family violence, housing insecurity and homelessness, Australia's National Research Organisation for Women's Safety (ANROWS), 2019
RESEARCH: This paper examines the intersection of housing insecurity and homelessness and domestic and family violence (DFV). Focusing on existing ANROWS research, it also draws on statistics from national surveys. The paper highlights the key issues from the research evidence base and makes key recommendations for policy and for practice. One of the key recommendations for policy made in the paper is that specialist domestic and family violence services, including refuges, should be given adequate resourcing for the provision of crisis assistance and support for accessing justice services.

Housing outcomes after domestic and family violence, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, 2019
RESEARCH: This research investigates how housing support for vulnerable families can best be integrated with other forms of support to improve safety and wellbeing. The methodology features a desktop national policy review and qualitative interviews with 28 service users and 80 stakeholders, including policy makers, service providers and industry representatives. The report details the key findings from the research, which focus on five broad areas: policy, pathways; integration; housing and safety. In particular, the research found there are gaps in the current integration of services, including inadequate legal assistance. The report offers policy development options for consideration.

Family law

Family law for the future – an inquiry into the family law system, Australian Law Reform Commission, 2019
INQUIRY: The Terms of Reference for this inquiry required the ALRC to consider the need for family law reform, and in particular amendments to the Family Law Act and related legislation. The findings draw on public submissions, contributions to a confidential website portal and consultations. In formulating the recommendations, the ALRC has been guided by four overarching principles: integrated pathways to adjudication; clear, coherent, enforceable law and resolution of disputes in a just, timely and cost-effective manner that is reasonable and proportionate; skills and tools necessary to achieve best outcomes for children and families; and drafting to facilitate resolution. The report makes 60 recommendations.

Health justice partnerships

Partners in care: the benefits of community lawyers working in a hospital setting, Inner Melbourne Community Legal, 2019
EVALUATION: This report details the findings from the evaluation of Inner Melbourne Community Legal’s Health Justice Partnerships (HJPs). The aim of the evaluation was to detail the extent to which the HJPs are operating as intended, and to assess the impact of the HJPs on the patients and the health professionals at the hospitals. The methodology for this evaluation involved face-to-face surveys with patients, interviews with social workers and lawyers, and an evaluation of professional development activities conducted at one of the HJP sites. The evaluation identifies five key requirements for community legal centres (CLCs) to have successful HJPs with major metropolitan hospitals: relationships, professional training, continuity and presence, evaluation and broad engagement across all aspects of CLC work. The report also outlines the benefits of cooperation between community lawyers and health professionals in the management of care for vulnerable patients and makes seven recommendations.


See Domestic and family violence

Indigenous Australians

Review of the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program (ILAP) 2015-2020: Final report, Cox Inall Ridgeway, 2019
REVIEW: Cox Inall Ridgeway were contracted by the Attorney-General’s Department of the Commonwealth of Australia to conduct an independent review of the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program 2015-2020 (ILAP). The purpose of the review was to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of the ILAP as a mechanism for achieving its objectives and outcomes within available resources, and identify best practice and opportunities for improvement. The review was informed by consultations, written submissions and a desktop analysis of key data and documentation. Key findings are summarised in relation to the Terms of Reference areas: delivery of services; collaborative service planning; funding arrangements; performance monitoring, reporting and data collection and governance. The review identifies a number of opportunities for future reform and makes 12 recommendations.
Planning tool to assist Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) Ltd, D Bellerose, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, 2019
STATISTICS: The Foundation has launched a new Aboriginal Legal Service planning tool which users can access via Tableau Public. The aim of the planning tool is to support the important work the ALS do in providing legal assistance and to help them plan to meet demand for their Criminal Law Practice. A 2012-2017 table has replaced the 2012-2016 table, which allows trends to be tracked over a six-year period. Data on finalised matters with Aboriginal defendants is available for 147 courts in NSW (Local, Children's, District, Supreme). To create the planning tool, the Foundation sourced Criminal Court statistics on finalised matters with Aboriginal defendants from BOCSAR and developed a proxy to indicate potential demand for ALS services. Visit ALS website

Legal aid

Cross-border justice: exploring ways to improve access to legal assistance along the NSW/Victorian border, Victoria Legal Aid & Legal Aid NSW, 2018
REVIEW: In 2017, Legal Aid NSW and Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) established a joint project to investigate the unique challenges that arise for border communities needing legal help. This review examined how Legal Aid NSW and VLA could work together more effectively and efficiently to improve the experience of accessing legal aid for both clients and practitioners. Through widespread consultation with legal aid staff, and staff and practitioners from other related services, the report highlights a number of key findings and reveals opportunities to improve practices. The findings are broadly categorised as: service experience of border communities; coordination and collaboration between service providers; intake, assessment and referral; eligibility in Commonwealth matters; and court events. The report makes 14 recommendations.
Developing a triage framework: linking clients with services at Legal Aid NSW, C Coumarelos & HM McDonald, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, 2019
RESEARCH: Triage refers to the practice of responding to and ‘sorting’ the people's legal problems on their degree or type to channel them to the appropriate service. The purpose of triage is to prioritise clients and match them with appropriate service options where demand outstrips capacity. This paper was developed to support Legal Aid NSW to undertake a review of their client intake and triage services. It provides a conceptual basis for developing a systematic triage service model.

Legal need

CLSD Expressed Legal Need data packs, D Bellerose & S Randell, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney, 2019
STATISTICS: Since 2009, the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW has produced data in the form of 'data packs' for Legal Aid NSW for the Cooperative Legal Service Delivery (CLSD) Program using data from the Foundation’s Legal Assistance Services Data Digest (Data Digest), accompanied by ABS Census data. The CLSD data packs support service planning and coordination in the 12 CLSD regions. Each CLSD data pack includes a snapshot of the region with statistics by LGA and a demographic profile of clients who made enquiries to legal assistance services. 

Legal services

See also Dispute resolution, Health justice partnerships, Legal aid

Review of the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-2020: Final report, Urbis, 2018
REVIEW: This is the final report of the review of the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015-2020 (NPA). Urbis was engaged by the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department to undertake the review, in accordance with Terms of Reference established by the Attorney-General of Australia and all state and territory Attorneys‑General. The purpose of the review was to assess the effectiveness, efficiency and appropriateness of the NPA as a mechanism for achieving its objective and outcomes within available resources, and identify best practice and opportunities for improvement. The review was informed by three key sources of data, desktop analysis of documentation and data, written submissions, and interviews and group consultations. Key findings which are based on the key sources of data are outlined in the review. The review also makes 21 recommendations framed around the core objective of the review.

Out-of-home care

See Children and young people


See Children and young people

Service planning

See Indigenous Australians, Legal need


See Domestic and family violence, Health justice partnerships

Small business

See Dispute resolution


See Indigenous Australians, Legal need

About this newsletter

JARA is a free email alert service covering recent research in the area of access to justice and legal need. JARA entries are publications identified by Foundation staff rather than the product of a systematic search or review. Foundation staff have produced the summaries based on the original publications. The summaries do not necessarily reflect the views of the authors or the Law and Justice Foundation. Your feedback is important to us. If you have any comments or suggestions please email us at 
© Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, 2019.
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