About the Law and Justice Foundation
The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW is an independent statutory body established by the Law and Justice Foundation Act 2000 (NSW)
“contribute to the development of a fair and equitable justice system that addresses the legal needs of the community and improves access to justice by the community, particularly by socially and economically disadvantaged people.”
The Foundation has become a leader in applied empirical research aimed at improving the fairness, equity and accessibility of the justice system in NSW and beyond. The Foundation is the justice research organisation in NSW with an explicit mandate to focus on addressing the legal needs of the community.
The aim of our research is to support access to justice through the advancement and dissemination of knowledge about the legal needs of the community, what works to meet those needs, and the operation of the legal and justice system. The Foundation achieves this by undertaking applied empirical research, providing analytical advice and expertise, developing comprehensive data tools and by disseminating our own and other relevant national and international research and practice to policy makers, managers, and front-line service providers across the legal and justice sector.
Contributing to a fair and equitable justice system
Legal needs surveys. Legal needs surveys are accepted internationally as the most effective means of identifying the full range legal needs of the whole community from their perspective. As a result, they will increasingly become an essential tool for countries going forward and will form part of the country obligations under the Sustainable Development Goals. The Foundation pioneered legal needs survey work in Australia, including its seminal national Legal Australia-wide (LAW) Survey.
What works sustainably to address the legal needs of the community. Within resource limitations, and working collaboratively with legal assistance services, the Foundation seeks to address the national and global deficit in quality research and evaluation about what works to address the legal needs of the community effectively and affordably. The Foundation seeks future opportunities to contribute to the creation of knowledge for policy makers and services, as well as identifying the best research and information available elsewhere.
Justice system data. For over twenty years the Foundation has led state and national level initiatives to improve the quality and utilisation of data available to support the civil justice system and the legal assistance sector in particular. Our groundbreaking work continues to explore how best to make use of different available data sources and provide an essential base for future effective service planning and delivery.
Collaborative service planning. Drawing on its research, the Foundation supports the collaborative service planning of the legal assistance sector in NSW and across Australia, and is providing easy-to-access, easy-to-use set of dashboards, videos and other tools to support effective and efficient legal assistance planning.
Supporting sector-led projects and initiatives (including the Grants program). The Foundation’s independence, rigor, research expertise, and its understanding the legal needs of the community positions it ideally to identify and support sector led initiatives to improve access to justice fore the community. Other than its Grants program, this support manifests is support for program evaluation across the legal assistance sector.