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Research Report: Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas
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Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas  ( 2006 )  Cite this report

Ch 8. Satisfaction with the outcome of legal events



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Summary: satisfaction with the outcome of legal events


This chapter examined the level of satisfaction with the outcome or lack of outcome of 2844 legal events.5 It also examined the factors related to satisfaction with the outcome of 1735 legal events that had been resolved at the time of the survey. The main findings were as follows.

Participants reported satisfaction with the outcome of more than three-quarters of the events that had been resolved at the time of the survey. In contrast, participants reported being satisfied with the status of only about one-fifth of the legal events that were either unresolved or in the process of being resolved at the time of the survey.

The most common reasons for dissatisfaction with the outcome of resolved events related to the negative financial impact of the event (20.9%), the participant feeling that the outcome was unfair or unsatisfactory (20.0%), and a lack of helpful assistance (15.3%).

The most common reasons for dissatisfaction with the status of events that were unresolved or in the process of resolution related to the matter being still ongoing (36.5%), a lack of helpful assistance (17.5%), the participant feeling that the current situation was unfair or unsatisfactory (12.1%), and the negative financial impact of the event (8.7%).

The logistic regression analysis revealed that the type of legal event, the recency of the event and the action taken in response to the event were significant, independent predictors of satisfaction with the outcome of resolved legal events. The odds of satisfaction with the outcome of resolved events were:

  • higher than average for accident/injury and wills/estates events, and lower than average for business, consumer, government and general crime events
  • lower for events that occurred earlier rather than more recently
  • higher for events that participants handled alone and lower for events where participants did nothing, when compared with events where participants sought help.

According to a chi-square test based on resolved events where participants had sought help, satisfaction with the outcome of the event was significantly and positively related to satisfaction with the assistance received.

Information on satisfaction with the status of legal events at the time of the survey was sought in relation to participants three most recent legal events in the 12 months prior to the survey, that is, in relation to 3024 events. This information was obtained in relation to 1735 events that were resolved at the time of the survey and 1109 other events.

 Information on satisfaction with the status of legal events at the time of the survey was sought in relation to participants three most recent legal events in the 12 months prior to the survey, that is, in relation to 3024 events. This information was obtained in relation to 1735 events that were resolved at the time of the survey and 1109 other events.


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Coumarelos, C, Wei , Z & Zhou, AH 2006, Justice made to measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney