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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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Level of satisfaction with the status of legal events


As already noted, there is no consensus about the definition and measurement of satisfaction. The present participants were asked to choose between the following three options regarding their level of satisfaction with the outcome of events that they reported had been resolved at the time of the survey: ‘satisfied’, ‘neither satisfied nor dissatisfied’ and ‘dissatisfied’. In the case of events that were either unresolved or in the process of being resolved at the time of the survey, participants were asked about their satisfaction with this situation. It is worth noting that these questions concerning satisfaction with the outcome or lack of outcome of legal events were asked in addition to, and separately from, a question concerning satisfaction with the assistance received for legal events.1

Figure 8.1 presents participants’ level of satisfaction with the outcome of resolved events, while Figure 8.2 presents participants’ level of satisfaction with the status of other legal events at the time of the survey. Figure 8.1 shows that 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, Figure 8.2 shows that 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.

Figure 8.1: Satisfaction with the outcome of resolved legal events, all six LGAs, 2003


Notes: N=1735 events. Information on satisfaction with outcome was missing for six of the 1741 resolved events.

Figure 8.2: Satisfaction with legal events that were not resolved,a all six LGAs, 2003


a Includes unresolved events and events in the process of being resolved at the time of the survey.
Notes: N=1109 events. Information on satisfaction with the status of legal events that were unresolved or in the process of being resolved was missing for 23 events.

Where participants reported dissatisfaction with the status of their legal events at the time of the survey, they were asked to provide the reason for their dissatisfaction. Table 8.1 presents the reasons for dissatisfaction with the outcome of resolved events, while Table 8.2 presents the reasons for dissatisfaction with the status of other events.

Table 8.1: Reasons for dissatisfaction with outcome of resolved legal events, all six LGAs, 2003

Reason
Resolved events where dissatisfied with outcome
No.
%
Negative financial impact
45
20.9
Unfair/unsatisfactory result
43
20
Lack of helpful assistance/poor services
33
15.3
Objective not achieved
18
8.4
Too expensive to resolve
15
7
Negative impact on life/family
9
4.2
Took too long to resolve
8
3.7
Difficult/upsetting/stressful situation
7
3.3
Treated badly/discriminated against
6
2.8
Didn’t get a say
4
1.9
Could happen again to me or others
4
1.9
Other
23
10.7
Total
215
100
Notes: For four of the 219 resolved events where participants reported dissatisfaction with the outcome, the reason for this dissatisfaction was missing.

Table 8.2: Reasons for dissatisfaction with status of events that were not resolved,a all six LGAs, 2003

Reason
Events that were not resolveda where dissatisfied with status
No.
%
Matter not resolved/ongoing
244
36.5
Lack of helpful assistance/poor services
117
17.5
Unfair/unsatisfactory situation
81
12.1
Negative financial impact
58
8.7
Would take too long to resolve
31
4.6
Too expensive to resolve
31
4.6
Difficult/upsetting/stressful situation
31
4.6
Negative impact on life/family/health
30
4.5
Treated badly/discriminated against
23
3.4
Didn’t get a say
4
0.6
Objective not achieved
2
0.3
Could happen again to me or others
1
0.1
Other
15
2.2
Total
668
100
a Includes unresolved events and events in the process of being resolved at the time of the survey.
Notes: For 16 of the 684 events where participants reported dissatisfaction with the current status of events that were not resolved, the reason for this dissatisfaction was missing.

As shown in Table 8.1, the two most common reasons for dissatisfaction with the outcome of resolved events were that the event had a negative financial impact (20.9%) and that the participant felt the result was unfair or unsatisfactory (20.0%). Participants also expressed dissatisfaction with a lack of helpful assistance (15.3%), their objectives not being achieved (8.4%) and the issue being too expensive to resolve (7.0%).

As evident in Table 8.2, the most common reason for dissatisfaction with events that had not been resolved was precisely that the matter was still ongoing (36.5%). The second and fourth most common reasons for dissatisfaction with events that had not been resolved related to a lack of helpful assistance (17.5%) and the negative financial impact of the event (8.7%). These two reasons were also among the most frequently reported reasons for dissatisfaction with the outcome of resolved events. The third most common reason for dissatisfaction with events that had not been resolved was that the participant felt the current situation was unfair or unsatisfactory (12.1%).



The level of satisfaction with the assistance received for legal events, and the factors related to satisfaction with assistance, are described in Chapter 6.

 The level of satisfaction with the assistance received for legal events, and the factors related to satisfaction with assistance, are described in Chapter 6.


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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