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History


1967
  • Law Foundation established
1971–1979
  • The Law Foundation funds The College of Law, enabling professionally managed practical legal training. In 1979, well established and successful, the College becomes a direct beneficiary of the Statutory Interest Account (now Public Purpose Fund)
1974
  • The Law Foundation recognises the need for legal studies at the high school level. Through the High School Education Law Project (HELP) established in 1974, it plays an instrumental role in stimulating inclusion of Legal Studies in the NSW HSC curriculum from 1989
1979
  • Incorporation of Law Foundation under Law Foundation Act.
1982
  • Public Interest Advocacy Centre established after the Law Foundation recognises the need for a specialist legal centre to engage in litigation and campaigns to promote and protect the public interest. Today PIAC is an independent specialist community legal centre representing individuals and organisations in far-reaching test litigation, providing public advocacy training and tackling tough issues in the public interest.
1983
  • Pocket Guide to the Law series. The Law Foundation developed this dictionary style format with plain language answers to common legal questions. The NSW version of the Guide was an instant success and the Foundation developed editions for other states. More than 400,000 copies of the Guide were sold.
1985–1993
  • Youth and the Law Project established by the Law Foundation. An eight-year experiment in youth crime prevention, YALP developed unique processes that included workshops and forums, to address local community issues. The YALP method of youth participation was adopted by several project partners including the NSW Department of Education, the Sydney City Mission (now Mission Australia) and the NSW Drug and Alcohol Directorate.
1987
  • Communications Law Centre established. The Law Foundation provided funding support to the CLC until June 2000. Today the Centre plays a central role in putting forward to governments and policy makers an independent view about proposals for communications reform and change.
1987
  • Legal Expense Insurance scheme established in partnership with GIO. Between 1987 and 1996 LEI assisted more than 30,000 individuals and their families in many fields, including management of legal risk and legal compliance. In 1997 the Law Foundation sold its interest in LEI to GIO.
1987
  • Law Foundation joins with Law Society to fund ABC television series Living with the Law, a 20-part series dealing with legal issues relating to young people.
1989
  • Law Foundation establishes Civil Justice Research Centre, with the principal purpose of helping make the processes for resolving civil disputes in NSW more efficient, more cost-effective and more accessible to the public. In 1995 the CJRC was restructured as the Justice Research Centre.
1990
  • Legal Information Access Centre established as a joint initiative of the Law Foundation and the State Library of NSW. A statewide service providing free access to plain language legal information through the state's public library network, there are now more than fifty public library LIACs in NSW.
1990
  • Centre for Plain Legal Language established as a joint venture between the Law Foundation and the University of Sydney. Its aim was to promote the use and study of plain language in public and private legal documents through teaching, research and consultancies.
1992
  • Centre for Legal Education established. The Centre conducts high quality research, and facilitates the gathering and dissemination of resources, for legal education that support a fair and accessible legal system. In January 2000 the CLE relocated to Newcastle University.
1993
  • Legal Scholarship Support Fund established. The Fund provided small grants for research assistance, conference travel and special programs to full-time legal academics in NSW law schools. The Fund operated until 1997.
1994
  • Litigation Support Fund established as contingency legal assistance fund (CLAF) to contribute to access to justice. In 1996 the introduction of the NSW Consumer Credit Code led to a major restructuring of the Fund so as to comply with the Code, converting from the application of a fee, to the charging of interest on loans. The Law Foundation ceased accepting applications in 1997.
1994
  • First Class Law established as a project to promote and facilitate on-line legal information, communication and resources.
1995
  • Justice Research Centre established. The JRC conducts empirical research and data analysis to inform policies that shape the justice system.The JRC established a reputation for excellence in empirical research. Its inquiries covered issues such as claims under motor accidents legislation; litigants in person in the Federal Court; and research into legal aid services in family law.
1996
  • Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) established. AustLII is now Australia's largest online provider of Australian legal materials. AustLII's broad public policy agenda is to improve access to justice through better access to information — primary legal materials such as legislation, treaties and court decisions and secondary legal materials (e.g., law reform report, articles).
1996
  • Foundation Law established as a portal to primary and secondary legal information, and as a project to encourage best practice in online legal information.
1996
  • Centre for Legal Process established. The Centre for Legal Process was established to improve the accessibility and effectiveness of legal services and remedies, by recommending reforms to the way they are delivered. In 1997 the Board of Governors resolved to cease operating the Centre in light of the Law Foundation's strategic direction and funding position.
1998
  • Online Legal Access Project. The OLAP follows on from the early work of Foundation Law, and undertakes research and policy development to improve the accessibility and quality of online legal information in Australia.
1999
  • Justice Awards – the establishment year. Three categories of award were introduced, the Justice Medal, Justice Fellowship and the Essay Prize.
2000
  • Law and Justice Foundation Act 2000 No 97 reconstitutes the Law Foundation as the Law and Justice Foundation [Assented to 13 December 2000]. The objects of the reconstituted Foundation are altered so that they include focus on the development of a fair and equitable justice system.
2001
  • The Foundation outlines goals to reflect its new objects, identifying legal and access to justice needs as a priority area; and a continued focus on conducting rigorous, independent research to inform policy development.
  • Justice Awards - Introduction of the LIAC Centre of Excellence Award (sponsored by LIAC) and Law and Justice Volunteer Award (sponsored by the NSW Bar Association)
2002
  • Access to Justice and Legal Need Research Program commences. The program objectives are to examine the ability of disadvantaged people to
    • obtain legal assistance, including information, basic legal advice, initial legal assistance and legal representation
    • participate effectively in the legal system, including access to courts, tribunals and formal alternative dispute resolution mechanisms
    • obtain assistance from non-legal early intervention and preventative mechanisms, non-legal forms of redress and community-based justice
    • participate effectively in law reform processes.
  • Justice Awards - introduction of the Community Legal Centres NSW Award (sponsored by CLCNSW), Law Society President's Award (sponsored by the Law Society of NSW) and Aboriginal Justice Awards (sponsored by the NSW Department of Attorney General and Justice)
2003
2004
  • Launch of four reports in the Access to Justice and Legal Need program:
  • Justice Awards - introduction of the Pro Bono Partnership Award (sponsored by the National Pro Bono Resource Centre)
2005
2006Publication of the latest research reports from the A2JLN program:
  • Justice Made to Measure: NSW legal needs survey in disadvantaged areas - report of the most comprehensive quantitative legal needs survey conducted in Australia in 30 years, providing valuable data on the legal problems experienced by disadvantaged communities in NSW, the pathways people use to resolve their legal issues and the outcomes they achieve.
  • On the Edge of Justice: the legal needs of people with a mental illness in NSW - a qualitative research study which examined the legal and access to justice needs of people with a mental illness, their capacity to both obtain legal assistance and participate effectively in the legal system, and considered the role of non-legal service providers in assisting people with a mental illness.
  • Launch of the Foundation's new website and Just Search, an online search tool that improves access to the Foundation's research.
2007
2008
  • Publication of Taking justice into custody: the legal needs of prisoners in July 2008. The study, which involved interviews with prisoners, ex-prisoners, prison staff, lawyers and others, led to remarkable cooperative work between Corrective Services and service providers implementing the recommendations of the report.
  • The NSW-wide legal needs survey broadened to a national survey of over 20,000 residents, with the support of National Legal Aid. Fieldwork commences.
2009
  • The Foundation commences a partnership with Professor Terry Carney on a four-year project to examine Mental Health Tribunals in NSW, ACT and Victoria.
  • The Foundation briefs the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Access to Justice Taskforce on its research, used to inform the report A strategic framework for access to justice in the federal civil justice system
  • Legal Needs Survey - field work extended, data cleaning and weighting begins
2010
2011
2012
2013


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