Reviews of legal assistance sector funding
16 October 2018
On 5 October 2018, the Law Council provided two separate submissions to the current reviews of funding arrangements for the legal assistance sector. One submission focussed on the National Partnership Agreement on Legal Services (the funding mechanism for Legal Aid Commissions and Community Legal Centres), and the other looked at the Indigenous Legal Assistance Program (the funding mechanism for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services).
In its submissions, the Law Council had a particular emphasis on ensuring that future approaches to funding the legal assistance sector are transparent, consistent and evidence-based, and have clear regard to legal need, noting that the Law Council’s Justice Project had identified significant levels of unmet legal need and the inadequacies in current funding levels for those services designed to meet this need.
The Law Council also highlighted the growing need for certainty in funding arrangements for these services, to allow for long-term strategic planning and well-targeted service delivery. The reviews are being conducted by independent consultants engaged by the Attorney-General’s Department, and are expected to be completed in December 2018.