Note: the original hard copy of this report is 361 pages .

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Legal Australia-Wide Survey: Legal need in Australia   

, 2012 The Legal Australia-Wide Survey (LAW Survey) provides the first comprehensive quantitative assessment across Australia of an extensive range of legal needs on a representative sample of the population. It examines the nature of legal problems, the pathways to their resolution, and the demographic groups that struggle with the weight of their legal problems.


10. A holistic approach to justice


This chapter highlights the implications of the LAW Survey findings for improving access to justice in NSW and across Australia.(1) Given the largely consistent findings across jurisdictions, the LAW Survey has similar high-level policy implications for the provision of legal services and remedies across Australian states/territories. As noted earlier, the occasional differences in survey findings between jurisdictions do not always provide conclusive proof of real differences in populations or service environments. For example, in some cases, small survey numbers for minority demographic groups may explain the failure to replicate certain findings across jurisdictions. Thus, policy implications based on significant findings in some jurisdictions may sometimes extend to the jurisdictions where significance was not reached. A demographic group may be fundamentally similar and may benefit from similar service provision strategies across jurisdictions, even though significance may not have been reached in the jurisdictions where this group represents a particularly small proportion of the sample. While this chapter focuses on the policy implications that flow from the findings across most jurisdictions, any departures for NSW are detailed.

Like past legal needs surveys, the LAW Survey in each jurisdiction highlights the value of a holistic, integrated, multifaceted approach to justice that addresses the diverse needs of different people and, in particular, addresses the needs of disadvantaged people, who are especially vulnerable to legal problems.

1. See Chapter 9 for a summary of the major findings across jurisdictions, which form the basis for the discussion in the present chapter. For full details of the results from all the statistical analyses conducted in each jurisdiction, see Chapters 3–8 in each LAW Survey report.