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Research Report: Data digest
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Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program: terms of reference

The research presented in this report forms part of Stage 1 of the Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program. The aim, objectives and components of this Program are outlined below.

Program Aim

To identify the particular legal and access to justice needs of economically and socially disadvantaged people in New South Wales.


The program will examine the ability of disadvantaged people to:
  • obtain legal assistance (including legal 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 advocacy and support (including non-legal early intervention and preventative mechanisms, non-legal forms of redress, and community based justice)
  • participate effectively in law reform processes.

This will involve both qualitative and quantitative investigations into:
  • Legal issues encountered by disadvantaged people
  • services and processes to deal with these problems
  • barriers that obstruct access
  • useful services and processes not provided by the legal system.

Program Components

Figure 2:  Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program


Scott, S, Eyland, A , Gray, A, Zhou, A & Coumarelos, C 2004, Data digest, a compendium of services usage data from NSW legal assistance and dispute resolution services 1999-2002, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney, 2004