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Noone, Mary Anne --- "Access to Justice Research in Australia" [2006] AltLawJl 9; (2006) 31(1) Alternative Law Journal 30



    A constant refrain in the recent Australian government reviews relating to access to justice and legal aid has been the lament over the lack of and deficiencies in the available data. In June 1998, the Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee noted that there was inadequate data on the ‘unmet need’ for legal aid.[1] The same committee reported in 2004 there had been no progress and restated the urgent need for reliable data on which to base government decisions.[2]

    In contrast, internationally, particularly in the United Kingdom and Canada, there has been renewed interest in research into ‘unmet needs for legal aid’.[3] This research has been generated by the new public management.[4] Despite the Australian legal aid system being subject to similar fiscal restraint and shift in public management, there has not been the same level of national commitment to research into access to justice and needs for legal aid.

    Although significant Australian work was done on defining and studying the problems of access to justice in the 1970s and early 1980s, since then, there has been limited interest or progress in researching unmet legal need and access to justice issues on a national basis in Australia.[5] This is primarily due to the lack of funding sources for such research.

    Nonetheless in the last five years a range of isolated research projects, both large and small, have been conducted into various aspects of Australian legal aid services provision, access to justice and assessment of needs.[6] This article surveys recent projects that have a focus on assessing need or gaps in service provision during the period 2000 to 2005. It concludes that there is a need for a process that can facilitate the dissemination of the information and results of these isolated projects and encourage nationwide coordination and consistency in the research.

    Access to justice research

    There is no research occurring on a national basis that seeks to measure particular areas of need for legal aid services or identify gaps in service delivery. The following are discrete projects that are attempting to measure or identify the legal needs of particular communities or groups of people.

    Access to Justice and Legal Needs Program

    The most significant research in this area is currently the Access to Justice and Legal Needs Program of the Law and Justice Foundation, New South Wales. This extensive program of research has already generated a set of useful publications.[7] A central aspect of the research is the largest quantitative legal needs survey conducted in Australia in over 30 years. The quantitative survey methodology is based on the UK Paths to Justice work.[8]

    The program objectives are to examine the ability of disadvantaged people to:

    • obtain legal assistance (including information, basic legal advice, initial legal assistance and legal representation)

    • participate effectively in the legal system (including access to courts, tribunals, and formal alternative dispute resolution mechanisms)

    • obtain assistance from non-legal advocacy and support (including non-legal early intervention and preventative mechanisms, non-legal forms of redress and community-based justice)

    • participate effectively in law reform processes.[9]

    The program’s first stage is complete. It included a literature review and analysis of previous studies; receipt of submissions from individuals, community organisations, non-government organisations and government bodies; wide consultation with relevant government, professional, community and other groups and individuals; collection and analysis of data from the inquiries handled by major NSW legal assistance and complaint handling bodies, to gauge expressed need; and a pilot survey of legal need in the Bega local government area.[10]

    The Public Consultations report records, unanalysed, more than 100 submissions and contributions made to the Foundation, collated according to the four program objectives. Issues such as the high cost of legal services and the availability of legal aid, the intimidating formalities of court procedures and the risk of ‘costs’ orders, were among those mentioned as key barriers for the community generally. In addition, contributors identified barriers particular to different disadvantaged groups.[11]

    The Data Digest study recognised that potentially valuable data about community legal needs is collected daily by numerous service delivery organisations including both government and non-government. Previously this data has not been aggregated in a way to allow for comparison across services. The Data Digest provides a snapshot of expressed legal need in the community. It analyses data collected by the main publicly funded legal service providers in NSW relating to the nature of legal inquiries received, the demographic characteristics of inquirers and the pathways they took to resolve their issues. The data covers the period 1999 to 2002 and was supplied by the Chamber Magistrate Service, LawAccess NSW, Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, Legal Information Access Centre, State Library of NSW, NSW Community Legal Centres (generalist and specialist) and Women’s Information and Referral Service. The Data Digest also includes a brief overview of published demographic data on the users of non-court dispute resolution agencies in NSW.[12]

    The purpose of the Bega Valley Quantitative Legal Needs Survey was to pilot the methodology for the larger survey. It was conducted in the Bega Valley local government area in South East New South Wales in July and August 2002. This area was chosen because it exhibits disadvantage (according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data) and there is a limited range of legal services in the region. A total of 306 people (1.5 per cent of the population), participated in the telephone survey which covered: legal issues faced in the previous 12 months; how these were handled; how services were accessed; the barriers to obtaining assistance; perceptions of outcome; the demographic characteristics of participants — gender, age, income, education, Indigenous status, whether born in a predominantly English-speaking country, chronic disability. Respondents were asked if they had experienced a problem or event of a particular kind. There were also 24 face-to-face interviews conducted. Both the Data Digest and the Bega Valley Pilot confirmed that housing issues rank prominently among legal problems. Credit and debt issues was also in the top three among civil law issues experienced by the people of Bega and inquirers to LawAccess NSW, NSW generalist community legal centres and the Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service. This was also the issue in the Bega Valley Pilot least likely to be resolved. Of respondents, 43 per cent experienced two or more legal events in the last 12 months. Participants sought assistance in 52 per cent of events. In 25 percent of all events participants sought no help at all. In the remainder they dealt with it themselves.[13]

    Stage Two of the Access to Justice and Legal Needs Program comprised legal needs surveys in six local government areas selected on the basis of the Australian Bureau of Statistics indices for disadvantage; a series of in-depth studies of the particular needs of specific disadvantaged groups (older people, people experiencing homelessness and people with mental illness) that were identified for further research during Stage One; and a project to examine the accessibility of the formal law reform processes for disadvantaged people. During September 2003, more than 2400 people were surveyed by telephone in three local government areas in metropolitan Sydney, one in a regional town and the remaining two in rural/remote New South Wales. The data from this survey is still being analysed and is expected to be released in late 2005.[14]

    The report Legal Needs of Older People in NSW is based on an extensive literature review, interviews with a range of individuals and organisations with an interest in elder law, nine focus-groups involving 78 participants including older men and women and carers and 135 individual submissions from older people. The report details that the particular obstacles for older people in accessing legal services reflects the characteristics of the current cohort of older people, including ‘a lack of awareness of their legal rights, a lack of confidence in enforcing those rights, a reluctance to take legal action and perception that the law is disempowering and cannot solve their problems’. The range of relevant issues discussed includes accommodation-related legal issues, health-related legal issues, financial and consumer-related legal issues, discrimination, elder abuse, substitute decision-making and the end of life issues, and grandparenting. A commonly recurring theme was that older people are often reluctant to complain about issues affecting them, and the report concludes that ‘there is a danger that the legal needs of older people may be largely hidden from legal and non-legal service providers, courts, tribunals, and complaint handling bodies’.[15]

    The Foundation has indicated that in addition to publishing individual reports it intends to allow the findings to be accessed cumulatively via an online search facility to enable searchers to rapidly locate all material from the program reports relevant to their area of interest. This is scheduled to occur in 2006.

    Demons, Damsels or Discard — Exploring the Legal Needs of Young Women

    In Western Australia, the Youth Legal Service undertook a research project that focused on young women. The Youth Legal Service provides legal services to young people (less than 25 years of age), distributes information relating to a broad range of issues affecting young people particularly legal issues, and is an active participant in policy discussions around services to young people.

    This research project arose from a commitment by the Service to actively promote the status of young women and to facilitate young women’s participation in defining their emerging legal needs.[16] The project explored several factors identified by the Youth Legal Service that may influence the legal needs of young women. The factors included the societal representations of young women, myths about young women such as the liberation of women being responsible for women’s visibility in criminality, and the existence of a set of factors that contribute to young women being at risk of involvement in criminal activity. The research consisted of five discussion groups with young women and one with service providers held in mid 2001.[17]

    The report begins with a summary of criticisms of mainstream criminological writings including the lack of focus on women and crime and the assumptions that have been made about gender to explain differences in the criminal behaviour of men and women. It then details recent statistics which indicate that there was a downward trend in the percentage of young women clients at the Youth Legal Service but an increase in the severity of the offences facing young women and an increase in requests for assistance in civil matters. Of young women clients, 100 per cent charged with criminal offences in the final 6 months of 2000 had no income. Overall, 40 per cent of young women clients generally indicated no income. This section of the report also lists a range of other data relating to the place of young people within the criminal justice system including the high incidence of young people as victims of crimes.[18]

    The report details the experiences of the young women and places those experiences within a range of sociological and criminological literature. The findings from the discussion groups are grouped under the themes:

    • the conflict of being a woman

    • getting caught and getting help or advice

    • the contradictions of being a young mother

    • it’s too hard and too scary!

    • I can look after myself.

    In the section ‘Getting caught and getting help or advice’ the conclusions from the discussions mirror the findings of international empirical research that young women do not know where to turn to for assistance with legal and social concerns and have little understanding of their legal rights and responsibilities. Additionally, the young women rarely felt listened to when interacting with legal and welfare organisations and many services were inaccessible. The report concludes that for young women getting important needs met, such as legal advice, income support and accommodation can be difficult.[19] The suggestions for future action in the report are wide-ranging and aspirational and do not address specific proposals.

    Analysis of the Legal Needs of ‘Horn of Africa’ people in Melbourne

    This project, conducted as part of a pro bono arrangement, focused on identifying good practice in the provision of culturally appropriate legal services by community legal centres in Melbourne. People from the Horn of Africa, a prominent emerging community, were chosen as the case study. The project was focused on the services provided by Victorian Community Legal Centres and did not canvass the approach taken by Victoria Legal Aid to this client group. This was action research with a community development approach. Interviews were conducted with relevant workers from community legal centres and other welfare agencies and individuals with experience in assisting Horn of Africans. The leaders of the Horn of African communities were also interviewed and community legal education sessions were conducted on Somalian radio.[20]

    Barriers in accessing legal services unique to Horn of Africans included a concern about a lack of confidentiality arising from the interpreters or community workers from the client’s ethic community; lack of trust in the domestic legal system; and a perception that service providers are disconnected from the needs of the communities.[21]

    The report concluded that improvement in the accessibility of community legal centres to Horn of Africa clients requires a combination of cultural awareness training, exposure to the target networks of professionals and community leaders and a willingness to trial outreach and co-location programs.[22]

    Northern Outreach — A Client Needs Survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf of Carpentaria

    This research by Legal Aid Queensland details a legal needs survey of Indigenous communities in remote Cape York and Gulf of Carpentaria communities. Eighteen community consultation meetings were held, ‘mostly in remote regions where road access is cut off for approximately five months of year due to the wet season’. The meetings focused primarily on the needs of Indigenous women as the project was an initiative of the Integrated Indigenous Strategy Unit at Legal Aid Queensland which aims to increase access to specialist legal services by Indigenous women and their families.[23]

    Although the project was prompted by the engagement of several new lawyers to provide legal services to victims of crime in these remote areas, the research identified a wide range of problems for which people could benefit from legal advice. The consultations revealed that community members did not identify that many of the problems they faced had a legal dimension including tenancy, consumer and employment issues.[24]

    The report also identifies issues in service provision including the need to recognise the complex social and cultural structures that dominate the remote communities and to provide services in a manner consistent with community values. The need for family law services and community legal education was noted as well as the desirability of mediation services in matters of community and family conflicts to prevent disputes from escalating to violence.[25]

    Law for All: An Analysis of Legal Needs in Inner Sydney Today

    This study was conducted in 2000 by four inner city community legal centres in New South Wales. It was prompted by the perceived imminent review of community legal centres in that State (the review did not begin until late 2004) and a concern that centres might be forced to close or amalgamate as had occurred in another State.[26] Nonetheless the report does provide significant detail about legal needs in this area. The project included an analysis of a range of demographic data, and semi-structured interviews were conducted with specialist community legal centres in the area, community agencies and individuals in related areas.[27]

    The report detailed levels of expressed and felt need and a range of gaps in the provision of legal services. But most interestingly, the report identified that there are ‘hidden communities’ that have a demand for legal services in the areas of immigration, family law, employment, social security, debt and credit. The ‘hidden’ client communities featured in the interviews were Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, younger people with disabilities, newly arrived immigrants and refugees, people from non-English speaking backgrounds with mental health disabilities, women with mental health disabilities, homeless people, people with intellectual disabilities, transgender people, sex workers, people with mental health disabilities, people with brain injuries and sweat shop workers.[28]

    Related studies

    The projects described in this section are not specifically focused on legal needs but nonetheless their outcomes can inform and illuminate the gaps in access to justice.

    Erosion of Legal Representation in the Australian Justice System

    The issue of increasing numbers of unrepresented litigants has been of concern for much of the last decade. In 2002 the Law Council of Australia undertook research in conjunction with the Australian Institute of Judicial Administration, National Legal Aid and the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Services to examine whether there had been erosion in the level of legal representation since 1994 and if so, the consequences of that erosion. The paucity of relevant data meant that a ‘defensible statistical analysis’ was not possible; instead this research relies on surveys and interviews with experienced legal practitioners, providers of publicly funded legal services and the courts.[29]

    The limited data available, together with the qualitative material, did indicate that there had been a growth in the numbers of self-represented litigants in the last decade.[30]The report proceeds to explore possible causes for this increase and the impact of self-represented litigants on the justice system. Unsurprisingly, the research found that one of the reasons for the rise in self-represented litigants is the lack of available publicly funded representation. It notes that the legal aid fees payable to the private legal profession are below the real cost of providing the necessary legal services and that there is a significant withdrawal of experienced lawyers from publicly funded work.[31] A significant reduction in citizens’ rights before the courts, and inequity in access to representation, were seen to be characteristics of the erosion of legal representation.[32]

    Legal Aid and Self-Representation in the Family Court of Australia

    This project was commissioned by National Legal Aid (CEOs of legal aid commissions) and conducted by academics at Griffith University, Queensland. The focus was on the link between self-representation and the availability of legal aid funding in family law. It employed both quantitative and qualitative approaches gathering information from both self-representing litigants (459 respondents interviewed) and Legal Aid Commissions. The research results indicated an extensive relationship between the unavailability of legal aid and self representation in the Family Court. The report shows that the relationship exists in non-applications for legal aid as well as in legal aid rejections or terminations.[33]

    Of litigants interviewed, 85 per cent were self-represented at the time and 48 per cent had applied for legal aid. A quarter of those who had not applied for legal aid were self-represented for reasons unrelated to legal aid. The remaining three quarters had not applied for legal aid for reasons primarily related to the means test.[34]

    The link between the means and merits tests and self-representation was examined. The data suggested that the level of the means tests creates a group of people that are not eligible for legal aid but who cannot afford private representation. These people become self-represented. The data indicated that private representation becomes affordable at an after-tax income level of AU$40,000 approximately.[35] As an example, in Victoria, to qualify for legal aid without contribution under the means test, the net disposable income is $230 or $11,960 per annum. This highlights the gap for those on low incomes in affordability of representation.

    This research also confirmed the importance of non-representation services provided by the Legal Aid Commission. The majority of self-represented litigants had used services such as advice services (both personal and telephone), assistance with documents and letters and duty lawyers.[36]

    Tracking Access & Equity in Legal Aid Queensland

    Legal Aid Queensland (LAQ) has developed a range of initiatives to maximise the opportunity for Queenslanders to access and utilise the range of services it provides. The current access strategies target women, Indigenous people, youth and people from rural and regional areas. The strategies provide specialist casework services and advocacy for clients, training in community organisations, input to statewide organisations and partnerships and policy advice.

    In 2004, LAQ engaged a consultant to review the benchmarks currently used to enable a comprehensive and consistent measure of access and equity as a whole, and per population group, per region and per type of legal issue.[37] The report details key performance indicators in civil and family law for the population groups women, Indigenous, youth, rural and cultural and linguistic diversity. Benchmarks are based on Eligible Population Percentages, and the basis for this was Centrelink (social security) data. The benefits of this data are that it is ‘consistently updated, accessible, research and statistically parsimonious to use and comprehensive’ and available on a quarterly basis.[38]

    This approach assessed access within the current restraints of service provision in the areas of law and type of service already provided. Although it discusses ‘equity’ as the ‘how’ of service provision, and that services should be provided in a way that they account for the particular service demands of population groups, the measurements used are not able to get to that level of qualitative detail. The measurements do facilitate identification of a population group and/or geographic region that is not utilising services in a particular area of law to a level predicted. This identification alerts the organisation and requires further exploration by the organisation of the specific nature and extent of need.

    Justice Too Far Away: Report of the Tennant Creek Regional Legal Access Project

    This project was undertaken to improve access to legal services in Tennant Creek, a remote town in the Northern Territory where there were no permanent legal services available either by the private profession or publicly funded organisations. It was undertaken in cooperation with other legal service providers in the area. The project aimed to ‘identify any missing legal services needed by people in Tennant Creek’ and to propose ways to meet those needs through improved services. A range of consultations took place primarily with people representing service providers both within and external to Tennant Creek. A consultation paper was prepared and discussed at a workshop.[39] The consultations indicated that a wide range of legal and related services were unavailable, inadequate or difficult to access in Tennant Creek.[40]

    The most significant recommendation proposed the establishment of a Tennant Creek Legal Resource Centre which would provide a focal point for legal services and be a link between clients and legal service providers and assist clients to access appropriate services. It would also liaise with community leaders and agencies about areas of legal need and work with visiting legal services to develop responses to those needs.[41]

    Women and Legal Aid: Identifying Disadvantage

    This is a current research project of Griffith University (Professor Rosemary Hunter and Dr Jane Bathgate) and Legal Aid Queensland which is examining the situation of women who have been refused legal aid from the Brisbane and four regional offices in the areas of family law, domestic violence and anti-discrimination. The project involves a statistical analysis, analysis of legal aid files and interviews with the women.

    Recent findings

    At the Legal Aid Congress (Brisbane) in October 2004, Professor Rosemary Hunter (Griffith University) described a range of significant research that she had completed or is currently conducting. She identified the threads in this research as having a ‘family law focus; directly or indirectly examining impact of legal aid funding cuts/restrictions; testing whether legal aid services live up to their own claims (eg the merits test, conferencing, ‘new’/innovative services, access for disadvantaged groups); and analysing whether theoretical/anecdotal concerns are borne out in practice (eg ‘flight’ of experienced lawyers from legal aid; the relationship between legal aid cuts and self-represented litigants; and gender bias in legal aid provision)’. Professor Hunter listed the following themes in the research findings as: ‘persistent gaps between funding and services provided, and actual needs; strategy of spreading scarce funding by giving a little to as many as possible is not always effective or appropriate; and don’t believe everything you hear! (that is, about legal aid lawyers, family lawyers in general, self represented litigants)’. Commenting on the future directions for legal aid research in Australia, Professor Hunter referred to the work of the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales, and the recent Senate Inquiry, and noted that we ‘already know quite a lot about dimensions of unmet needs’. She posed the choice: ‘should we be examining how to redistribute existing funding more efficiently/effectively/appropriately or should we be making the argument for increased funding levels?’[42]

    The Australian Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee found, after conducting public hearings in four locations around the country and receiving 115 written submissions, that ‘there was much evidence to suggest that various groups are particularly restricted in gaining access to justice, due to such factors as socioeconomic disadvantage, cultural background and remoteness from mainstream legal services’.[43] The Committee’s report identified that the following groups were experiencing problems in accessing the justice system: Women and Family Law, Indigenous Legal Services, Legal Aid in Outer-Metropolitan, Regional, Rural and Remote Areas, Migrants and Refugees, Other Groups with Particular Needs (includes homeless, mentally ill people and young people).[44]

    The minority (government senators) report also accepted that the inquiry had demonstrated ‘some areas of considerable need’ and supported, in principle, the call for better statistical and practical information. These senators identified three key areas in need of further examination: national survey of demand and unmet need for legal services and identification of the obstacles to service delivery; gender bias in access to legal services; people living in rural, regional and remote Australia.[45]


    The various projects described in this article together with the Senate report indicate there is generally a good recognition of a range of groups of people and geographic areas that are experiencing difficulties in accessing legal services and justice. However not all the projects are rigorous in their methodology and their approaches vary significantly. Several of the projects seek to chart the extent of ‘local legal need’ while others seek to explore the options for best addressing the needs or, in researching how best to establish a new service, discover that the needs are broader or different from those envisaged. The access and equity work currently being conducted in several Legal Aid Commissions is about ensuring the currently available services are going to those most in need.

    There is no indication from the current federal government that the Senate Committee’s recommendations calling for a national survey and the collection of reliable data are likely to be acted on. Unfortunately, with the Howard government now in control of the Senate, it is unlikely that this Committee will hold any further enquiries into legal aid and so the government’s inaction will go without scrutiny.

    Many in the country are looking to the release of the report of the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales to fill the gap. This is the largest study of its type in Australia for over 30 years. Obviously there are limitations to the use that can be made of the New South Wales data but nonetheless it should provide a solid foundation for other related research.

    Equally, the small projects listed in this article merit recognition. This work is often done in isolation and with limited funds. Sometimes it is these smaller projects that identify the ‘hidden communities’ that have a demand for legal services as disclosed in the Law for All report and noted in the recent report Legal Needs of Older People in NSW.

    When viewed as a whole, the large and small projects reveal a growing body of relevant research material. Ideally these research developments and findings should be readily available to the legal aid and related community in order to ground decisions about legal aid funding, service provision and further research. The challenge: how is this to be done?

    At the Legal Aid Congress, a resolution was passed that the Australian Legal Assistance Forum develop a set of national research priorities for the future of legal aid in Australia.[46] If this recommendation is to be acted on, then there is a strong imperative for a mechanism that will facilitate the dissemination of the information and results of these isolated projects and encourages nationwide coordination, coherency and consistency in the research. The current federal government is most unlikely to provide any resources for this work. National Legal Aid and the Australian Legal Assistance Forum are obvious candidates for the task but have very limited resources to allocate to this purpose. Consequently, in the short term, those Australians interested in improving access to justice for those in most need, have no alternative but to continue to gather together the disparate and patchy relevant research as best they can. This article is a small contribution to that task.

    [*] MARY ANNE NOONE teaches law at La Trobe University.*

    © 2006 Mary Anne Noone


    *This article was first presented as a section of a paper given at the International Legal Aid Group Meeting, Killarney, Ireland June 2005. Thanks to my co-author of that paper, Liz Curran.

    [1] Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee (‘Senate Committee’), Inquiry into the Australian Legal Aid System, Third Report, (1998) 17.

    [2] Senate Legal and Constitutional References Committee, Legal Aid and Access to Justice (2004) 40. See also, Australian Law Reform Commission, Managing Justice: A Review of the Federal Civil Justice System, Report No 89 (2000) recs 39, 40.

    [3] See J Johnsen, ‘Studies of Legal Needs and Legal Aid in a Market Context’ in F Regan, A Paterson, T Goriely and D Fleming (eds), The Transformation of Legal Aid (1999); P Pleasence and A Buck, ‘Needs Assessment and Prioritisation of Legal Services in England and Wales’ in International Legal Aid Group Papers Vol 1 & 2, Australia (2001); P Pleasence, ‘Needs Assessment and Community Legal Services in England and Wales’; A Currie, ‘The Nature and Extent of Unmet Need for Criminal Legal Aid in Canada’ in International Legal Aid Group Papers, USA (2003).

    [4] A Currie, ‘The Emergence of Unmet Needs as an Issue in Canadian Legal Policy Research’ in International Legal Aid Group Papers, Vol 11 (2001) 32, 71.

    [5] A selection of work includes; M Cass and R Sackville, Legal Needs of the Poor, Research Report, Law and Poverty Series (1975); M Cass and J Western, Legal Aid and Legal Need, Commonwealth Legal Aid Commission (1980); P Hanks, Social Indicators and the Delivery of Legal Services (1986). A recent exception is the Rush Social Research Agency and John Walker Consulting Services, Legal Assistance Needs Project: Phase One and Two (1999).

    [6] Professor Rosemary Hunter outlined some of this research, both completed and ongoing, at the Legal Aid Congress. See R Hunter, Legal Aid Research in Australia and Future Needs (2004) <> at 2 February 2006.

    [7] For a complete list of publications see <> 1 at 2 February 2006.

    [8] L Schetzer, ‘Measuring Legal Needs’ (Paper presented at National Community Legal Centre Conference, Hobart, September 2003) <> 1 at 2 February 2006.

    [9] Extracted from Law and Justice Foundation New South Wales website: <> at 21 April 2005.

    [10] Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales, Access to Justice Roundtable, Proceedings of a Workshop July 2000 (2003).

    [11] L Schetzer and J Henderson, Access to Justice and Legal Needs; Stage 1: Public Consultations Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales (2003).

    [12] Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales, Access to Justice and Legal Needs; Stage 1: Data Digest Sydney (2003).

    [13] Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales, Access to Justice and Legal Needs; Stage 2: Quantitative Legal Needs Survey Bega Valley (Pilot) (2003); L Schetzer, above, n 8.

    [14] Not released at time of writing.

    [15] S Ellison et al, The Legal Needs of Older People in NSW (Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales, 2004).

    [16] C Vernon, Demons, Damsels or Discord — Exploring the Legal Needs of Young Women, Youth Legal Service Inc (2002) 1.

    [17] The numbers of participants in the discussion groups are not provided: ibid 3.

    [18] Ibid 9–10.

    [19] Ibid 16.

    [20] S Aplin, Analysis of the Legal Needs of Horn of Africa People in Melbourne, (Pro Bono Fellowship Report 2002) 17–19.

    [21] Ibid p 22–26.

    [22] Ibid 46.

    [23] Legal Aid Queensland, Northern Outreach — A Client Needs Survey of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities in Cape York Peninsula and the Gulf of Carpentaria (2001) 7.

    [24] Ibid 38–39.

    [25] Ibid 7 and 54.

    [26] For a discussion of the reviews see J Giddings and M A Noone, ‘Australian Community Legal Centres Move into the Twenty-first Century’ (2004) (11)3 International Journal of the Legal Profession 257, 261–263.

    [27] Inner City Legal Centre et al, Law for All: An Analysis of Legal Needs in Inner Sydney Today (2000) 3–4.

    [28] Ibid 58–59.

    [29] Law Council of Australia, Erosion of Legal Representation in the Australian Justice System (2004) Executive Summary paras 2–4.

    [30] Ibid 12.

    [31] Ibid Ch 4, 5.

    [32] Ibid 76.

    [33] R Hunter, J Giddings and A Chrzanowski, Legal Aid and Self-Representation in the Family Court of Australia (Socio Legal Research Centre, Griffith University 2003) 33–34.

    [34] Ibid iii.

    [35] Ibid 34.

    [36] Ibid v, 34.

    [37] Legal Aid Queensland and Colmar Brunton, Tracking Access & Equity in Legal Aid Queensland (2004) 2.

    [38] Ibid 11.

    [39] G Renouf, Justice Too Far Away: Report of the Tennant Creek Regional Legal Access Project, (Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission 2003) 13– 15.

    [40] Ibid 23.

    [41] Ibid 6.

    [42] R Hunter, above n 6.

    [43] Senate Committee, Legal Aid and Access to Justice (2004) 1.

    [44] Ibid.

    [45] Ibid 221.

    [46] See report of plenary sessions <> at 2 February 2006.

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