2017-18 Federal Budget
The Law Council provides this submission in order to assist the Government in determining the direction of Commonwealth expenditure in the federal justice system under the 2017-18 Budget.
The Law Council's submission primarily concerns access to justice, including funding for legal assistance services and for the federal courts and tribunals.
The cost of under-resourcing the justice sector is considerable and presents a compelling case for the Commonwealth to address continued under-investment in legal assistance services. There are long-term economic benefits and savings that can be made by investing in legal assistance services and the federal courts and tribunals.
Conversely, cuts to legal assistance services have major down-stream costs in terms of the administration of justice and increased reliance on government services. The Law Council has liaised with its Constituent Bodies in the drafting of this submission, and is grateful for the input from the Law Society of Western Australia; the Law Institute of Victoria; the Law Council’s Access to Justice Committee, Family Law Section, Federal Court Liaison Committee , Federal Circuit Court Liaison Committee; the National Association of Community Legal Centres (NACLC); National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services; and the Australian Human Rights Commission.