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On the edge of justice: the legal needs of people with a mental illness  ( 2006 )  Cite this report

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Access to justice and legal needs research program: Terms of reference

Program aim

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

Program objectives

The program examines 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.

The program involves 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


Karras, M, McCarron, E, Gray, A & Ardasinski, S 2006, On the edge of justice: the legal needs of people with a mental illness in NSW, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney