After 10 months, 68 submissions and four public hearings, the final report on Access to Justice has been released with a universal call for immediate improvements to the justice system.
The inquiry, initiated by Senator Ludlam in February 2009, was established to investigate:
a. the ability of people to access legal representation;
b. the adequacy of legal aid;
c. the cost of delivering justice;
d. measures to reduce the length and complexity of litigation and improve efficiency;
e. alternative means of delivering justice;
f. the adequacy of funding and resource arrangements for community legal centres; and
g. the ability of Indigenous people to access justice.
The final report identifies serious long-standing gaps in our legal system, with increasing numbers of people falling through the cracks. Rather than focusing on funding systems as has been the focus of past inquiries, this report focuses on peoples' inability to access justice. It is particularly critical of how badly our justice system lets down Aboriginal people.
The Australian Greens are calling on the Commonwealth Government to act immediately to address the chronic funding shortage in Australia's community legal sector and have proposed further changes to ensure we begin the long task of rebalancing the justice system.
- Abolishing the current purchaser/provider funding arrangement
- The enactment of a right to legal representation
- The establishment of a permanent, independent justice research centre
To read the full report click here.
See the Additional Comments submitted to the report from the Australian Greens in the attachment below.
Media Release: Report calls for immediate action on access to justice: Greens