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Articles on Access to justice

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Differences in personal resources and capabilities mean that the most vulnerable Australians find the legal system inaccessible. AAP/April Fonti

Reversing legal aid cuts isn’t enough to ensure access to justice

The demand for government-funded legal services is large and growing. Simply “not cutting” these services does the community a grave disservice.
The Productivity Commission rightly identified widespread concerns that Australia’s civil justice system is too slow, too expensive and too adversarial. shutterstock

Extra funding for legal assistance services should only be a start

The Productivity Commission raised a few eyebrows when it called for an additional A$200 million for legal assistance services to disadvantaged Australians, who are “more susceptible to, and less equipped…
New laws need to strike a balance between justice and prompting an influx of litigation. AAP

Tort wars: class actions set to increase as laws wind back

In the early to mid-2000s governments throughout Australia introduced reforms restricting rights to claim for negligence. The tort of negligence and other statutory causes of action, including the prohibition…
Lawyers like George Newhouse deserve praise, not abuse, when they go to court to ensure people are protected by the rule of law. AAP/Paul Miller

Lawyers who help people protect their rights aren’t the problem here

Australia’s courts serve us well, acting independently in their application of the law. However, that doesn’t protect them from attacks for performing their legal and constitutional duties. Similarly…
Victims of crime may feel offenders get off too lightly, but being represented at sentencing isn’t necessarily the solution. AAP/Dan Peled

Lawyers for victims of crime won’t guarantee better results

The South Australian Commissioner for Victims’ Rights, Michael O’Connell, recently called for victims of crime to have their own lawyers at the time that criminal defendants are sentenced. O’Connell’s…
We should continue to agitate for fairer, cheaper and more just legal systems, after a Productivity Commission draft report noted the difficulties for many in accessing justice. AAP/Dave Hunt

‘Slow, expensive, complicated’ legal system must be improved

Half of all Australians will experience a legal problem this year. Most won’t get legal assistance or come into contact with our courts or other legal institutions. In part, this is because Australia’s…

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