About the Project
What is the Justice Project?
The Justice Project is a comprehensive, national review into the state of access to justice in Australia.
The Project focuses on justice barriers facing those with significant social and economic disadvantage, as well as identifying what is working to reduce those barriers.
The Law Council wants to take our access to justice crisis out of the realm of numbers and into the realm of lived experience by understanding how our most vulnerable people experience access to justice issues, and what needs to be done to deliver a fairer, more just system which delivers access to justice in Australia.
Under the guidance of an expert Steering Committee, the Final Report is one of the most comprehensive examinations of the access to justice needs of vulnerable Australians in recent decades.
The Final Report’s constructive, informed recommendations in the final report provide a roadmap for future action, building the case for new, whole-of-government justice strategies secured by appropriate funding.
Steering Committee Membership
An expert Steering Committee was established to guide The Justice Project.
Chaired by former Chief Justice of the High Court, the Hon. Robert French AC, the Steering Committee was made up of eminent lawyers, jurists and academics.
The Law Council would like to thank the Chair and the Steering Committee for their expertise, guidance and support throughout the project.
Terms of Reference
The Justice Project has been guided by a comprehensive Terms of Reference.
Final report was released in August 2018.
What are the guiding principles of The Justice Project?
There are some important ideas and guiding principles behind The Justice Project including:
- The system for giving everyone in Australia access to justice should:
- treat people fairly and equally;
- offer results that are fair;
- be accessible to the people who need it;
- respond to people's different needs; and
- have enough support so it can work well.
- People who experience disadvantage should not miss out on taking part in the justice system.
- The laws, policies and systems should not be a barrier that stops people who experience disadvantage from accessing justice.
Equal access to justice for all - the aim of The Justice Project
The aim of the Justice Project is to understand the issues that stop people from accessing justice. The Law Council believes that all people should be treated equally by the law and be able to use the justice system and would like to ensure everyone has equal access to justice.
The Justice Project will identify:
- people who experience disadvantage in the justice system;
- barriers stopping people accessing justice;
- the laws, policies and systems that disproportionately impact those people; and
- what is being done to promote access to justice.
The Justice Project is focusing on people who experience disadvantage to:
- collect as much information as possible;
- find out what has been done before that worked well;
- uncover areas we don’t know enough about;
- develop a set of rules to guide the work we will do in the future; and
- make sure that the justice system and the law work better for people experiencing disadvantage.
The Justice Project shines a light on access to justice issues, while uncovering systemic flaws and identifying gaps in access to justice.
It reveals methods of addressing and dissolving those barriers to justice and helps to create a path toward equal access to justice that is clear and easily accessible for Australians who experience disadvantage.
We should always look at the justice system from the people’s point of view, and base access to key services which underpin justice on what we know already works and what is necessary to meet their needs.