On Thursday, 23 August the Law Council released the Justice Project Final Report at an event at Australian Parliament House in Canberra.
The Justice Project has been one of the most extensive reviews into the state of access to justice in the last 40 years.
The Law Society of Tasmania, as well as other LCA constituent bodies across Australia, has actively participated in the project over the past two years and is proud to be a part of such a comprehensive inquiry into the major access to justice issues faced by disadvantaged Australians.
Around 150 consultations have been held, and 129 submissions received, revealing often heartbreaking accounts about the consequences of not being able to access justice, or of receiving poor justice outcomes.
The Justice Project was overseen by an expert steering group led by the former Chief Justice of the High Court, the Hon. Robert French AC, with the final report containing 22 chapters and 59 recommendations. The recommendations include:
- Justice Impact Tests should be introduced to facilitate the smoother development of laws and policies which have downstream impacts on the justice system.
- A full review of the resourcing needs of the judicial system;
- Significant government investment in legal assistance services required to address critical gaps (at a minimum $390 million per annum) and ensuring future funding through an evidence-based, sustainable and stable funding model;
- Funding and supporting multi-disciplinary, holistic servicing models which address people’s complex legal and non-legal problems;
- A COAG Access to Justice Framework to underpin a whole-of-government commitment to justice access; and
- Implementing a National Justice Interpreter Scheme.
Read the work of The Justice Project.
Opinion Piece – LCA President, Morry Bailes