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Terms of reference

Please note that these Terms of reference were in operation until 31 December 2018 when the Foundation ceased as convener of LIRF.


To improve the quality of information and referral for people with legal problems in New South Wales by:

  • drawing together and disseminating existing knowledge and experience
  • identifying common concerns and potential areas of cooperation.


The Legal Information and Referral Forum brings together key service providers who provide legal assistance services to clients with legal problems. It does not include non-legal service providers but these agencies may be invited to attend meetings from time to time. The Forum focuses on investigating current developments and practice as well as identifying common concerns and ways of addressing these. The Forum does not aim to achieve consensus on all aspects of information and referral or to control practice. Participants in the Forum recognise that different agencies carry out information and referral in different ways depending upon their role, clients, method of service delivery and resources.


The Forum covers a range of issues identified by participants in relation to effective legal referral. Specific issues which may be addressed include:

  • referral competencies
  • referral practice and training
  • research into client pathways
  • gaps in plain language legal information
  • improving knowledge of relevant services including databases
  • working together more effectively
  • pro bono referral


Participating organisations include a range of not-for-profit legal service providers such as the NSW Legal Aid, the Law Society of NSW, community legal centres, Legal Information Access Centre, LawAccess NSW, pro bono organisations, courts, aboriginal legal services and the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW. Agencies are invited to send two participants who are responsible for communicating information from and to their sector.


The Forum operates on an informal basis. The Law and Justice Foundation convenes meetings. Working parties are established as appropriate.


Meetings are held three times per year. Additional meetings are convened if necessary.


The Forum has been meeting since late 2002. It is reviewed on a yearly basis.

Secretariat support

The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW provides secretariat support. This includes convening meetings and writing minutes, following up action items, distributing information as appropriate, coordinating research and publishing material to the web.