How do you know what legal problems people in your area are experiencing?
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How do you know what legal problems people in your area are experiencing?. To ascertain ‘unmet’ legal need large scale telephone surveys (6 disadvantaged LGAs in NSW; Statewide) Qualitative research projects re disadvantaged groups (in- depth interviews, statistics, literature).

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Access to justice and legal needs research program l.jpg

To ascertain ‘unmet’ legal need experiencing?

large scale telephone surveys (6 disadvantaged LGAs in NSW; Statewide)

Qualitative research projects re disadvantaged groups (in- depth interviews, statistics, literature)

Access to justice and legal needs research program


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Legal need survey experiencing?:What people did about a legal event

  • Common response was to do nothing

  • Considerable proportion handled the matter alone without outside help

    (Justice made to measure)


Why people did not seek help l.jpg

Problem not serious enough/ didn’t realise how serious it was (30%)

Thought seeking help would make no difference/make things worse (26%)

Had bigger problems/ too busy/ thought it would take too long (11%)

Didn’t know how to get help/ couldn’t get there (10%)

Why people did not seek help


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When sought help, only 1 adviser used – 78% was (30%)

Majority of events – only non-legal adviser

Where people went for help


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Type of legal adviser was (30%)

  • Legal advice of some sort in 26%

  • But legal adviser was a traditional legal service provider in only 12%


Type of non legal adviser l.jpg
Type of non-legal adviser was (30%)

  • Non-legal professionals used frequently

    • doctor, counsellor, accountant 25%

  • Choice of adviser was generally appropriate

    • e.g. school staff for education events


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What are the key characteristics of your community? was (30%)

Population size and age

CALD, ATSI, home ownership, employment

http://www.abs.gov.au

http://www.id.com.au/home/default.asp?pg=5

Identifying legal need: demographic data


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How does your area differ from other areas on certain measures (NSW)?

  • http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/public-health/chorep/toc/choindex.htm


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How does your area compare on socioeconomic (SEIFA) indices for area, on relative disadvantage?

http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/public-health/chorep/soc/soc_irsd_lgamap.htm


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Data for area, on relative disadvantage?from main publicly funded legal services (Legal Aid, LawAccess, CLCs) re:

Types of legal matters inquires made about

Demographic characteristics & location of inquirers

Pathways people take to resolve legal issues

Changes in types of inquiries over time

Rates of inquires for different legal issue by population groups and areas of NSW

Data Digest 3:

On line by June 2008

Create own reports by area, demographic, legal issue etc.

Data Digest: ‘expressed’ legal need


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Legal needs identified in different disadvantaged groups for area, on relative disadvantage?

One source:

Law and Justice Foundation of NSW,

Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program

http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/justsearch


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Diversity of experience for area, on relative disadvantage?

Some people – resilient

Others - multiple events

Those with 3+ events accounted for 79% of all events reported

Some people appear to be particularly vulnerable

Incidence of legal events


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Civil, family, criminal law events common in disadvantaged communities

Some events co-occur:

general crime, consumer, government, accident/injury and employment events

family and domestic violence events

business and credit/debt events

Legal need in disadvantaged communities

(Justice Made to Measure)


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Entering homelessness: communities

Family/DV, debt, housing (rent arrears, damage, eviction, discrimination)

Entrenched homelessness:

fines, victim of crime, social security, policing

Multiple and inter-related legal issues and social issues (AOD, mental illness)

Homeless people

(No home, no justice?)


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Mental Health Act 1990 communities (NSW), adult guardianship

Discrimination (employment, education, insurance)

Housing: DOH, private rental, boarding house

Social security: eligibility, breaching, debt, fraud

Consumer: credit card, phone/contractual debt, banking

Domestic violence, victim of crime

Family law, care and protection

People with mental illness

(On the edge of justice)


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Housing: Home ownership, tenancy, aged care, retirement village and residential park

Health: Advanced care directives, complaints,

Finance: Social security/veterans, super, credit/debit, consumer

Power of Attorney, wills, guardianship issues

Discrimination

Elder abuse

Family: grandparenting issues

Older people

(Legal needs, older people)


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Legal need at different ages: peaks village and residential park

(Justice Made to Measure)


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Overall 1.7 times more likely than others to have had a legal event

consumer events

government

education

credit and debt

crime and family

Housing

Chronic disease & disability

(Justice Made to Measure)


Indigenous people l.jpg

More likely than others to have had legal event

credit/debt

employment

family events

less likely to prepare or alter wills.

(Justice Made to Measure)

Indigenous people


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More likely than others to have had legal event

Wills/estates

General crime

Accident/injury

CALD

(Justice Made to Measure)


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The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW is in the process of developing an interactive computer application with, integrated data mining and spatial mapping capabilities. The main aims of the Data Digest 3 (DD3) project are:

to enhance the description, analysis and interpretation of legal need in NSW, particularly as it is expressed by socially and economically disadvantaged persons.

to assist the public legal sector in the modelling, planning and delivery of legal assistance services in NSW

Data Digest 3


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DD3 will contain de-identified legal inquiries records from Legal Aid, LawAccess and CLCs

DD3 will allow users to generate information on:

the type of legal matter for which inquiries are made;

the demographic characteristics of those who seek assistance;

the pathways that service users take to resolve their problems;

changes in legal inquiries over time;

the rate of legal inquiries for particular population groups and/or geographic areas of NSW; and,

spatial maps of legal need and how legal need relates to socio-economic measures, such as Census indicators of disadvantage.

Data Digest 3


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The Cooperative Legal Service Delivery Legal Aid, LawAccess and CLCs (CLSD) Program


Clsd objectives l.jpg

Disadvantaged people able to efficiently & effectively access legal services.

Legal need & equity in provision of legal services & resources.

Legal services in a region planned & delivered in a co-ordinated & co-operative manner.

CLSD Objectives


Clsd goals l.jpg

Maximise the use of resources in the region. access legal services.

Extend region’s capacity to meet demand through co-operative arrangements.

Improve access to pro bono in regional and rural areas.

Outcomes: Success measured by capacity to enhance access to a broader, more effective range of legal services within the region.

CLSD Goals


Clsd strategies l.jpg

Regional coalitions of key legal service providers. access legal services.

Improved referral mechanisms.

Evidence-based planning of legal services.

Improved access to pro bono.

Central co-ordination through Legal Aid NSW.

CLSD Strategies


Clsd regions l.jpg

Regionally based approach, divides the State into regional coalitions of legal services comprising:

Legal Aid (Head Office & local reps)

Community Legal Centres

Aboriginal Legal Services

Regional Law Societies

Local Courts

Community Justice Centres

Tenancy Services

Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Schemes (WDVCASs)

Financial Counsellors

Family Relationship Centres

Disability Services

Pro bono providers

OTHERS on ad hoc/informal basis - quasi-legal/related bodies (Local Govt, Govt agencies - Centrelink etc)

CLSD Regions


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Evidence-based coalitions of legal services comprising:planning

  • Use LawAccess NSW data to highlight trends (e.g. a high level of credit and debt matters in Dubbo), age differences in clients.

  • Demographic & Jurisdictional data

  • Anecdotal

  • Forward planning

  • Joint submissions for resources to the regions/systemic issues


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1. Shoal Coast (Nowra) coalitions of legal services comprising:

  • Legal Aid Nowra:

    • Civil – 1 Legal Officer (LO), 1 Homeless LO (24 Months)

    • Family – 1.5 LO in Nowra, 0.5 LO (operating from Bega)

    • Crime – 2 LO’s

  • Shoal Coast CLC (Nowra)

  • ALS Nowra

  • FRC Nowra

  • WDVCAS Nowra

  • Illawarra & South Coast Tenants Advice & Advocacy Service (Warrawong)

  • Southern NSW Aboriginal TAAS (Batemans Bay) services Illawarra

  • Pro bono


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