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Data Digest: a compendium of service usage data from NSW legal assistance and dispute resolution services, 1999-2002  

, 2004 Analyses data collected by the main publicly funded NSW legal service providers on the nature of inquiries received, the demographic characteristics of inquirers and the pathways they took to resolve their issues.


Executive summary


The Data Digest forms part of Stage 1 of the Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program, the goal of which is to identify the particular legal and access to justice needs of economically and socially disadvantaged people in New South Wales. The Digest contributes to Stage 1 of the broader program by providing a snapshot of expressed legal need in the community. In particular, the Digest describes the type of legal matter, the demographic characteristics of those who seek assistance from services and the pathways they take to resolve their problems, over the period 1999 to 2002.

The Digest has two sections. The first section presents data from the following legal assistance services in NSW: Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service2, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, LawAccess NSW, NSW Community Legal Centres and the Chamber Magistrate Service. The second section presents an overview of published demographic data on the service users of dispute resolution agencies in NSW.

Legal Assistance Services

Data are presented on the type of legal matter, and the demographics and pathways of service users. The ‘inquiry’ was the unit of measure for all data analyses. Chi-squared tests were used to examine whether the type of legal matter and the profile of service users changed over time, whether the demographic characteristics of service users were related to the type of legal matter, and whether the legal matter was related to how the user found out about the service or where they were subsequently referred.

The type of legal matter

Figure 1:  Percentage of inquiries in Family, Civil and Criminal law, by service


Table 1:  Top five categories of Civil Law inquiries, by service
Legal Aid NSW Info/Advice 1999-2002% of totalLawAccess NSW% of totalNSW Community Legal Centres (Generalist) 1999-2002% of total
Government/Legal system 7.4Housing 7.8Housing 11
Credit/Debt5Wills/Estates6.4Government/Legal system10.3
Housing 3.2Credit/Debt 7.1Credit/Debt 6.7
Employment 2.7Employment 5.8Employment 6.4
Wills/Estates2.7Consumers 5.6Consumers 4.1
Note: The Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service was not included as the proportion of Civil Law inquiries was too small for analysis.

Demographics of service users

Gender


Table 2 shows for men and women separately the top 5 specific areas of law (ranked in order of frequency) for the Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service and NSW Community Legal Centres, with areas in common shaded. Although both men and women had a high proportion of family law inquiries, women were significantly more likely than men to inquire about family law.

Table 2:  Top 5 specific areas of law by gender and service

GenderLegal Aid NSW Information/Advice%NSW Community Legal Centres%
MaleGeneral crime 27.9Government/Legal system28.9
Family24.8Family16.1
Government/Legal system10.1Housing10.2
Traffic offences5.4Credit/Debt6.9
Credit/Debt5General crime6.6
FemaleFamily50.6Family34.5
General crime9.1Government/Legal system17.9
Government/Legal system5.3Housing9.1
Credit/Debt5Domestic violence7.5
Housing3.6Credit/Debt5
Note:  Specific areas of law in common for both services are shaded.

Age


Table 3:  Broad area of law about which each age group was more likely to inquire, by servicea
Age (years)Legal Aid NSW AdviceLawAccess NSWNSW Community Legal Centresb
2000-200220021999-2002
0 to 14CrimeCrimeCrime
15 to 17CrimeCrime
18 to 24CrimeCrimeCrime
25 to 34FamilyCrime
35 to 44FamilyFamilyFamily
45 to 54FamilyFamily
55 to 64CivilCivilCivil
65 to 74CivilCivilCivil
75 and overCivilCivil
a  The Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service was not included in the analysis of age by legal matter due to the high proportion of inquiries about Criminal Law (87%).

b  CLC age groups are slightly different to the other services. See Table 22 for more details.

Country of birth


Table 4:  Highest 3 proportion of inquiries from service users born in non-English speaking countries relative to share of the population, by service
Legal Aid NSW AdviceLegal Aid NSW Duty SolicitorNSW Community Legal Centres
North Africa/Middle EastPacific IslandsSouth/Central America
South/Central AmericaNorth Africa/Middle EastNorth Africa/Middle East
Pacific IslandsSouth/Central AmericaPacific Islands

Indigenous Australian status
Table 5:  Five most frequent specific areas of law inquired about by Indigenous Australians by service
Legal Aid NSW Advice 2000-2002%NSW Community Legal Centres 1999-2002%
General crime36.1Family36.7
Family30.9General crime11.8
Government/Legal system8.4Domestic violence11.4
Credit/Debt2.7Government/Legal system9.6
Personal injury2.6Credit/Debt6.2

There were significant differences in the specific areas of law that Indigenous Australians inquired about compared with non-Indigenous Australians:


Source of income
Region of residence

Postcodes were mapped to Australian Bureau of Statistics regions. See Appendix 3 for more details.


Table 6:  Rates of inquiries per 1000 population by region of residence of inquirer and service
ServiceAnnual rate

per 1000

SydneyNon-Sydney
Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice16.816.6
Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor14.49.4
LawAccess NSW7.88.7
NSW Community Legal Centres14.59.6
Chamber Magistrate14.937.4

Pathways

Source of inquiry


Referral destination

Data on referral destination were available for the Legal Aid NSW Information Service, LawAccess NSW and NSW Community Legal Centres.


Table 7:  Top four referral destinations, by service
Legal Aid NSW Information% of totalLawAccess NSW% of totalNSW Community Legal Centres% of total
Community legal centre25.7Legal Aid NSW26.5Private solicitor23.4
Private solicitor19.5Court16.2Court15.9
Court18.4Private solicitor15.6Community organisation14.6
Government11.7Dispute resolution12.5Community legal centre13.8

Dispute resolution agencies

The examination of Annual Reports of dispute resolution agencies in NSW revealed many gaps in the availability of relevant data. As a result, a reliable demographic profile of the service users of these agencies could not be compiled. Nonetheless, the compilation of these data in the Digest provides a useful starting point for a more detailed analysis of this nature.



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.

Objectives

The program will examine the ability of disadvantaged people to:
This will involve both qualitative and quantitative investigations into:
Program Components

Figure 2:  Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program




Introduction


The Data Digest contributes to Stage 1 of the Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program by providing a snapshot of expressed legal need in the community. In particular the Digest, using data collected by a range of NSW services that provide assistance with legal problems, describes:
These data will contribute to Stage 2 of the Program which will examine the access to justice and legal needs of particular disadvantaged groups and regions in NSW.

The Digest is based on data from key not-for-profit legal assistance agencies in NSW. The Digest also includes an overview of published demographic and service usage data of dispute resolution agencies in NSW.

While providing a snapshot of expressed legal need in the general community, the research particularly focused on the expressed needs of socially and economically disadvantaged groups in New South Wales. These include people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, Indigenous people, young people, elderly people, people on low incomes, and people in rural, regional and remote areas. Where possible, data have been presented which illuminate the use of the services by members of these groups.

While the Digest cannot claim to represent a definitive or comprehensive picture of legal need in NSW, the Foundation believes that compiling these data is a valuable exercise. Information about service users who present with legal problems is a useful tool for assessing expressed legal need. By bringing together data from a range of services, it is possible to identify similarities and differences in the pattern of inquiries across services. This assists in building a picture of who is accessing the legal system, what their expressed needs are and the pathways they follow.

To facilitate comparison across a range of key indicators, raw data from the agencies were transformed, classified and mapped to common sets of categories. The compilation of data presented in the Digest is the first attempt in NSW to capture such information in the one volume.3 This report, by making use of readily available data, should provide a valuable reference for those concerned with identifying and addressing access to justice and legal need in the community.

The Digest also highlights the potential value of developing common data collection protocols. While acknowledging that each agency needs to collect data to meet their own needs, moving towards a collaborative and common approach to data collection and management would assist with providing a sound knowledge base for policy makers and service providers.


Structure and scope


The Digest is divided into two sections, the first reporting on legal assistance services and the second on dispute resolution agencies.

Section 1:  Legal assistance services

This section presents data from the following not-for-profit legal assistance services in NSW: Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, LawAccess NSW, NSW Community Legal Centres and the Chamber Magistrate Service. These services were chosen on the basis that they are high volume providers of information, advice and minor assistance to a wide range of users about diverse legal issues.

There are a range of services that provide legal assistance which are not covered by the Digest, such as Indigenous legal services and services specialising in particular areas of law. These were not included due to resource limitations or lack of availability of data. Future editions will endeavour to include additional services.

Data from two additional services—the Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) and the Women’s Information and Referral Service (NSW Department for Women)—are, however, included in Appendix 2. LIAC plays an important role in providing legal information across New South Wales through the public library network. As their data were based on surveys for the State Library LIAC only, and also included a high proportion of student inquiries (approximately 50%), LIAC data are included in an appendix rather than in the main body of the report. Data on legally related inquiries to the Women’s Information and Referral Service have been included to illustrate the potential use of data from specialist services to examine the legal needs of particular disadvantaged groups.

Section 1 is divided into three chapters. A description of the services and data analysis methods is provided at the beginning of this section.

Section 2:  Dispute resolution agencies

This section provides an overview of the role of, and the demographic data published by, key dispute resolution agencies providing services to people in New South Wales. These include government agencies such as the Anti-Discrimination Board, tribunals such as the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and self-regulated industry bodies such as the Credit Union Dispute Resolution Centre. A list and description of the agencies included in the Digest is provided at the beginning of Section 2.

Dispute resolution agencies have been included in the Digest because they provide an important access point for identifying and resolving legal disputes, especially for those in the community who may not be able to afford private legal assistance or traditional court-based litigation.

The focus is on data that assist with identifying service users. Due to time and resource constraints, only data published in the Annual Reports of these agencies have been reported.

Scope of the analysis

The ‘inquiry’ was the unit of measure for all data analyses. The nature of an inquiry can vary significantly, ranging from the provision of brief information over the telephone to providing ongoing assistance to a client with court-related matters.

The Digest looks particularly at patterns of use rather than volume. Information for the previous three to four calendar years has been included where available to ascertain trends over time.

The Digest focuses on the people who use the services rather than how the services respond to these people. For this reason, information about service delivery characteristics covering, for example, the quality of services, the level of satisfaction of service users, or the length of time taken to answer inquiries, has not been included. These are important issues but they are not within the scope of this report.

This is a picture of expressed need, rather than of underlying demand (i.e. the data are gathered from people who actually contact a service to seek help with their problem). It does not measure unexpressed need (i.e. people who have a problem but do not contact a service). For example, a relatively small proportion of inquiries from Indigenous Australians about credit and debt issues may reflect a low incidence of inquiries to services from Indigenous Australians about those issues, rather than a low incidence of credit and debt issues among the broader Indigenous community.

The Digest is intended as a reference tool, providing in one volume, usage and trend data from a number of services. Explanation of data trends is beyond the scope of the Digest. The Foundation will be drawing on the data in this report to carry out further analysis in Stage 2 of the Access to Justice and Legal Need Research Program. It is the hope of the Foundation that others may also find the Digest a useful starting point for critical analysis of this kind.


Limitations of the data


The following limitations apply to the data in this report.

Gaps in data collection

The data have been collected by the agencies for their internal administrative purposes, and not with research of this nature in mind. It is not surprising, therefore, that for the purposes of this research, there are a number of gaps in the data collected. Most notably, the collection of demographic data varied across services. There were also imperfections in collection procedures and inconsistencies in the application of protocols leading to a high percentage of missing data in a number of cases.

Format of data

Data were received in a variety of forms, ranging from relatively raw data to heavily pre-processed cross-tabulations to published data. This limited both the extent to which the quality of the data could be checked and the level of analysis that could be undertaken.

Consistency across services

In the interests of standardising data from all sources, we have attempted to map variables to common sets of categories. The integrity of our process rests on the integrity of the collection and classification processes of each service. There are, however, wide variations in how the services collected and classified data. At the most obvious level, some inquiries were described as ‘civil’ or ‘criminal’ or ‘family’ with no further detail. Thus, even at the major law classification level, we are dependent on what a service regards as belonging to each broad category of law.

Double counting

Even if all services used the same definitions for data collection, and made no mistakes in collection procedures, it is not possible to aggregate the data meaningfully to provide accurate indicators of total expressed legal need in the community. This is due to the effect of an unknown incidence of ‘double counting’. One person may approach a service a number of times or contact a range of services to seek help. Without a major redesign of collection protocols, there is no way of tagging the inquiries of any one person seeking assistance so as to distinguish him or her from other once-off inquirers.


Section 1. Legal assistance services


Introduction


Section 1 is divided into three chapters. Each chapter has an overview section that summarises the main findings and notes any common patterns across services, followed by the descriptive and chi-square results for each service.

The legal assistance services included in Section 1 are shown in Table 8, with more detail in Appendix 1.

Table 8:  Legal assistance services included in Section 1
RoleDataCalendar Years
Legal Aid NSW
Assists socially and economically disadvantaged people to understand and protect their legal rights. Services include free legal advice and minor assistance in all areas of law, grants of legal aid, alternative dispute resolution, a domestic violence court assistance program and community legal education programs.
Information/Advice Service: Telephone and in person information, advice or minor assistance. Note that when data is only collected for either information or advice inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Information Service or Legal Aid NSW Advice Service is used. Duty Solicitor Service: Advice or representation for clients on their first appearance in the Local Court. 2000-2002
LawAccess NSW
A free service providing a single point of access to legal and related assistance services in New South Wales. LawAccess NSW provides legal information, advice and referral services via a central call centre and the Internet. The service is available to anyone who has a legal problem in NSW. Priority for legal advice is given to customers with urgent inquiries, with disabilities, from non-English speaking backgrounds or from rural and regional areas.
All information and advice inquiries.2002
NSW Community Legal Centres Independent, non-profit organisations providing access to legal information and services, particularly for disadvantaged sectors of the community. Services include legal information, advice, casework, representation, community legal education, advice to government on policy issues, law reform and referral. Information/Advice: Once-off information or advice about legal and non-legal issues. May include counselling, advocacy or drafting of simple correspondence. Case: Ongoing assistance, including acting on behalf of a client. Only NSW generalist and specialist community legal centres funded by the Commonwealth Government are included.1999-2002
Chamber Magistrate Service
Provides information about legal options and court proceedings, but does not represent people appearing before the Court. Anybody is able to use the service. Available at all Local Courts across NSW. Some outreach services are provided.
Inquiries to Chamber Magistrates.1999-2001


Methodology


This section outlines the analysis of data from legal assistance services.

For each service, data were collected on all inquiries for the following calendar years:

The inquiry was the unit of measure for all data analyses. For each inquiry, available information was collected on the type of legal matter, the source of referral to the service, the destination of any referral resulting from the inquiry and the demographic characteristics of the person making the inquiry.

The demographic data collected comprised gender, age, country of birth, Indigenous Australian status, source of income and region of residence. The data available for each service are detailed in Appendix 1.

To allow comparison across services, data for each variable were mapped to common categories wherever possible. The type of legal matter was categorised according to the broad areas of Family, Criminal and Civil Law, and according to more specific areas of law within these broad categories.

Given that the focus of the Digest is on the type of legal matter and service user, there was no analysis of the type of assistance provided by each service (e.g. provision of information, advice, minor assistance or representation).4

The data analyses involved both descriptive and inferential statistics.

Percentages

Percentages are used to describe the inquiries to each service in terms of broad and specific areas of law, trends over time, and the demographic characteristics of the service users. The use of percentages rather than frequencies allows easy comparison across services of the type of legal matter and the profile of service users. The total number of inquiries to each service over the period of interest is provided in Appendix 1.

Indices of concentration

To examine whether the demographic profile of service users was similar to the demographic profile of the NSW population, indices of concentration (ICs) were calculated for each demographic variable for each service.5 The IC indicates the concentration of inquiry activity for a particular demographic group (e.g. females) relative to their proportion of the NSW population.6 An IC of 100 indicates that the proportion of inquiries by a particular group is identical to the proportion of this group in the population. An IC over 100 indicates that the proportion of inquiries from this group is higher than would be expected given their proportion in the population, and an IC under 100 indicates a lower proportion of inquiries than would be expected. The method for calculating the IC is provided in Appendix 4.

Rate of inquiries per 1000 population

To provide an indication of the relative number of inquiries from different regions of residence, the rate of inquiries per 1000 population was also calculated for each region. The regions of residence were categorised according to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC)7 where Statistical Divisions were used to define regions outside Sydney and Statistical Subdivisions were used to define regions within Sydney.

Chi-square tests

Chi-square tests were performed to highlight changes over time and differences in the nature of inquiries between demographic groups. The chi-square test is a non-parametric test that examines whether there is a significant relationship between two or more categorical variables with data in terms of frequencies. A brief description of the chi-square test is provided in Appendix 4. Results based on the chi-square test are indicated in the text.

For each service, wherever data were available, two-way chi-square tests were performed between the following variables:

It is important to note that given that the broad area of Family Law could not be meaningfully broken down into more specific areas of law, in the chi-square tests ‘Family Law’ was included as both a category of broad area of law and as a category of specific area of law.

All of the significant chi-square tests reported in the text are statistically significant at the 0.01 level.10 Where a chi-square test found no statistically significant relationship between two variables, this is noted in the text.

Missing values

As already noted, the total number of inquiries to each service is presented in Appendix 1. Some of the inquiries to each service had missing information on one or more of the variables of interest. For example, information about demographic characteristics of inquirers is not available for information inquiries to the NSW Legal Aid Information/Advice Service and NSW Community Legal Centres. Each table/figure of results presents the number of inquiries that had valid data for the variables. The number and percentage of inquiries with missing values are presented in the note to each table/figure.

Where a variable had missing values in under 10 per cent of inquiries, the chi-square test was based on all inquiries with valid data for that variable. The treatment of variables that had a higher proportion of missing values is described in Appendix 4.

Organisation of the results

The results are presented separately for each service. It is not possible to aggregate the data from different services meaningfully due to the effect of an unknown incidence of ‘double counting’. That is, one person may approach a service a number of times or contact a range of services to seek help.


Ch 1. The type of legal matter


This chapter examines the types of legal matters for which users contacted services. Trends over time are noted where data availability permitted.

Services include the Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, LawAccess NSW, NSW Community Legal Centres (Generalist)11 and Chamber Magistrates.

It should be noted that the proportion of inquiries in particular areas of the law may be influenced by a number of factors. These include whether a service places a priority on providing assistance in particular areas of law or to a particular service group, differences in the awareness of the service, or differences in the needs of service users. For example, a high level of inquiries about domestic violence may be connected to any or all of the following factors: a focus on domestic violence by the service, targeting of a group which has a higher than average rate of domestic violence, a high level of awareness of the service by victims of domestic violence or a high level of domestic violence in the community. Differences in classification schemes will also affect the results. For example, seeking help about how to file an apprehended violence order may be classified as a court process or domestic violence.

Most services collect some form of data about the type of legal matter experienced by service users. There is, however, a wide variation in how services categorise legal matters. Some services, for example, only collect at the broad level of crime, family and civil, while others break down inquiries to a high level of detail, with more than 1000 possible headings.

For more information

Australian Bureau of Statistics, Usage of Legal Services, New South Wales, October 1990, Catalogue No. 4510.1, ABS, Sydney, 1990.

Australian Institute of Criminology, <http://www.aic.gov.au>.

Family Law Council, The Statistical Snapshot of Family Law 2000-01, 2003, <http://law.gov.au/flc>.

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar1.nsf/pages/index>.

Rush Social Research and John Walker Consulting Services, Legal Assistance Needs Phase II: Summary Report, Family Law and Legal Assistance Division, Legal Aid Branch, Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, Barton ACT, 1999.

Classification of legal matters

Legal matters were classified into two tiers using a classification system developed by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW.12 The major areas of law—Family, Crime and Civil—have been divided into 14 specific categories: 1 for Family,13 3 for Crime and 10 for Civil, as illustrated in Figure 3.

Figure 3:  Tiered system for describing legal matters



The matters that make up the specific area of law are presented in Table 9. Housing inquiries, for example, include the following categories: animals, conveyancing, fences, housing, property law, neighbours, noise, nuisance, retirement village, strata title, and tenancy.

Table 9:  Law and Justice Foundation classification for legal matter14
Area of lawTypes of legal matters included in specific area of law
BroadSpecific
FamilyFamilyAdoptionDe facto relationshipsProperty
Child protectionDivorceResidence/Contact
Child supportFamily law
CrimeGeneral crimeArrestCrimePrisoners
AssaultDrugsSentencing
BailFirearmsSexual assault
Child abuseFraudTheft
Coronial inquestsPoliceVictims
Domestic violenceApprehended violence ordersDomestic violence
Traffic offencesTraffic offences
CivilBusiness/MediaBusinessIntellectual propertyMedia Law
ContractsDefamationSlander
Credit/DebtBankruptcyCredit/Debt
ConsumersComplaints about lawyersConsumer protectionInsurance
SuperannuationConsumers
BankingContracts
EmploymentContractsUnfair terminationWorkers compensation
Employment
Government/Legal Administrative lawFreedom of informationPensions/Allowances
systemCourtsGovernmentRefugees
EducationImmigrationTaxation
EnvironmentLegal servicesVeterans
FinesLocal government
Health/Human rightsDiscriminationHealthMental health
Guardianship/IncapacityHuman rights
HousingAnimalsNeighboursRetirement village
ConveyancingNoiseStrata title
FencesNuisanceTenancy
HousingProperty law
Motor vehiclesTraffic accident-personal injuryTraffic accident-property damage
Personal injuryAccidentsNegligence/LiabilityPersonal injury
Wills/EstatesFamily provisionProbate
Power of attorneyWills


Overview


The pattern of inquiries across the broad areas of law—Family, Criminal and Civil—differed across services, although some similarities did emerge. Figure 4 shows the breakdown for each service.

Table 10:  Top five categories of Civil Law inquiries, by service
Legal Aid NSW Info/Advice 2000-2002% of total LawAccess NSW 2002% of total NSW Community Legal Centres (Generalist) 1999-2002% of total
Government/Legal system 7.4Housing 7.8Housing 11
Credit/Debt5Wills/Estates6.4Government/Legal system10.3
Housing 3.2Credit/Debt 7.1Credit/Debt 6.7
Employment 2.7Employment 5.8Employment 6.4
Wills/Estates2.7Consumers 5.6Consumers 4.1
Note:  The Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service was not included as the proportion of Civil Law inquiries was too small for analysis.

Table 11:  Criminal Law inquiries, by service
Legal Aid NSW Info/Advice 2000-2002% of total Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor 2000-2002% of total LawAccess NSW% of total NSW Community Legal Centres (Generalist) 1999-2002% of total
General crime17.6General crime68.3General crime9.8General crime7.2
Domestic violence2.4Domestic violence6.3Domestic violence3.1Domestic violence7.6
Traffic offences3.5Traffic offences12.3Traffic offences3.9Traffic offences2.4

Figure 4:  Percentage of inquiries in Family, Civil and Criminal Law, by service16








Trends in legal matters: Overview

Figure 5 provides an overview of changes in the type of legal matter inquired about by service users of the four services over the years of measurement.17 Trends in the legal matter inquired about depended on the service.

Figure 5:  Percentage of inquiries in Family, Civil and Criminal Law by year and service




Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service


Table 12:  Percentage of inquiries by area of law and year
Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002
Area of Law200020012002All
Broad Specific %%%%
FamilyTotal Family41.838.235.938.9
CrimeGeneral crime 13.617.123.717.6
Domestic violence2.42.42.22.4
Traffic offences2.73.74.53.5
Total Crime18.723.230.423.5
CivilBusiness/Media10.80.70.9
Consumers22.11.61.9
Credit/Debt5.65.83.25
Employment3.12.82.22.7
Government/Legal system 5.88.28.87.4
Health/Human rights1.31.71.91.6
Housing3.63.42.53.2
Motor vehicles2.72.11.32.1
Personal injury1.61.51.21.5
Wills/Estates3.22.71.92.7
Other9.67.48.48.5
Total Civil39.538.633.737.6
Total (%)100100100100
Total (No.)83 77777 46860 713221 958


Figure 6:  Percentage of inquiries by area of law
Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002

Notes:  LawAccess NSW replaced the Legal Aid Helpline in October 2001.
Phone counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

Comment


Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service


Table 13:  Percentage of inquiries by area of lawa and year
Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002
Area of law200020012002All
BroadSpecific%%%%
FamilyTotal Family1.21.21.61.3
CrimeTheft26.224.818.824.1
Assault13.113.912.613.3
Drugs6.364.75.9
Against justice procedures10.510.89.810.4
Offensive behaviour and malicious damage to property4.24.34.24.2
Robbery2.92.52.42.7
Other offences44.15.64.4
Domestic violence6.16.26.86.3
Traffic offences12.112.512.312.3
Crime - other4.12.92.53.3
Total Crime89.588.279.786.9
CivilGovernment/Legal system 89.216.610.3
Civil - other1.31.42.11.5
Total Civil9.310.618.711.8
Total (%)100100100100
Total (No.)103 62088 88851 814244 182


Figure 7:  Percentage of inquiries by area of law
Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002

a  Due to the high percentage of crime related inquiries the Australian National Classification of Offences Code (ABS, 1985,
Catalogue No. 1234.0) has been used to classify the types of legal inquiries.
Note:  Phone counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).


Comment


Law Access NSW


Table 14:  Percentage of inquiries by area of law
LawAccess NSW, 2002
Area of law
BroadSpecific%
FamilyTotal Family26.7
CrimeGeneral crime9.8
Domestic violence3.1
Traffic offences3.9
Total Crime16.8
CivilBusiness/Media1.8
Consumers5.6
Credit/Debt7.1
Employment5.8
Government/Legal system3.1
Health/Human rights1.1
Housing7.8
Motor vehicles2.4
Personal injury3.8
Wills/Estates6.4
Other11.6
Total Civil56.5
Total (%)100
Total (No.)61 046


Figure 8:  Percentage of inquiries by area of law
LawAccess NSW, 2002

Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

Comment


NSW Community Legal Centres (Generalist)


Note: Only inquiries from NSW Community Legal Centres (Generalist) were analysed as these are more indicative of the range of legal matters experienced by the community than specialist community legal centres that specialise in particular areas of the law such as credit/debt.

Table 15:  Percentage of inquiries by area of law and year
NSW Community Legal Centres (Generalist), 1999–2002
Area of law1999200020012002All
Broad%%%%%
FamilyTotal Family31.732.833.130.432
General crime87.46.56.87.2
Domestic violence8.77.96.67.47.6
Traffic offences2.52.22.42.52.4
CrimeTotal Crime19.217.615.516.817.2
Business/Media10.90.90.90.9
Consumers4.24.23.84.44.1
Credit/Debt7.66.16.476.7
Employment4.95.87.17.56.4
Government/Legal system8.71011.310.910.3
Health/Human rights2.52.62.52.72.6
Housing10.811.71110.611
Motor vehicles3.332.72.62.9
Personal injury0.90.80.80.90.8
Wills/Estates2.62.82.82.92.8
Civil-other2.61.81.92.52.2
CivilTotal Civil49.149.651.352.850.8
Total (%)100100100100100
Total (No.)53 16157 64761 78562 452235 045


Figure 9:  Percentage of inquiries by area of law
NSW Community Legal Centres (Generalist), 1999–2002

Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

Comment

  • The most frequent type of inquiry was Civil Law (51%), followed by Family Law (32%) and Criminal Law (17%).
  • Domestic violence accounted for about 45 per cent of the Criminal Law inquiries.
  • The most frequent of the inquiries concerning Civil Law were about housing (11% of all inquiries), government/legal system (10%), credit/debt (7%), employment (6%) and consumers (4%). At a more detailed level, inquiries about Civil Law concerned the following:


  • - 74 per cent of housing inquiries were related to tenancy, and 21 per cent to neighbours and fencing.
    - 62 per cent of government/legal system inquiries were about the legal system, 15 per cent about government, and 10 per cent about pensions and allowances.
    - 51 per cent of employment inquiries were about employment (general) and 32 per cent about unfair termination.

    Based on the chi-square examining broad area of law by year:
  • The proportion of all inquiries concerning Family Law decreased overall, from 32 per cent in 1999 to 30 per cent in 2002.
  • The proportion of all inquiries about Criminal Law also decreased overall, from 19 per cent in 1999 to 17 per cent in 2002.
  • The proportion of all inquiries about Civil Law increased steadily over the four-year period from 49 to 53 per cent.


  • Based on the chi-square examining specific area of law by year:
  • The largest consistent percentage increases within Civil Law were employment and government/legal system. The only area of Civil Law to undergo a consistent decline in the proportion of inquiries was motor vehicles. The remaining categories showed a mixture of increases and decreases over the four-year period.


  • Chamber Magistrate Service


    Table 16:  Percentage of inquiries by broad area of law and year
    Chamber Magistrate Service, NSW, 1999–2001
    Area of law1999 %2000 %2001 %All %
    Family 18.919.619.619.4
    Domestic/personal violence24.124.625.124.6
    Other57.155.855.356.1
    Total (%)100100100100
    Total (No.)148 974146 851151 255447 080


    Figure 10:  Percentage of inquiries by broad area of law
    Chamber Magistrate Service, NSW, 1999–2001

    Note:  Data were provided already categorised into these areas of law.
    Source:  NSW Local Courts (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Ch 2. Demographic characteristics of service users


    This chapter describes demographic characteristics of those who make inquiries (service users). The characteristics include gender, age, Indigenous Australian status, country of birth, source of income and region of residence.

    It should be noted that the demographic data collected by each service varied considerably. A matrix of the availability of demographic variables for each service is included in Appendix 1. There is also a high rate of missing data for a number of the variables. In some cases these missing values have been adjusted for, as discussed in Appendix 4.

    Where possible, the demographic profile of service users was compared with that of the NSW population using the index of concentration (IC). More information about the index of concentration is provided in the introduction to Section 1 under ‘Methodology’ and in Appendix 4.

    It needs to be noted that variations in the use of services by different demographic groups could be influenced by a number of factors:

    Thus, a relatively low proportion of inquiries to a service from young people may be due to a low incidence of legal problems among young people, or a low rate of usage of the service by young people. In turn, low use of a service may reflect lack of awareness of the service, lack of accessibility, or the fact that young people are not a priority group for the service.


    Gender


    This section compares the proportion of inquiries from men and women and the distribution of inquiries by area of law for men and women.

    Services with relevant data are the Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, the Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service and NSW Community Legal Centres (Generalist and Specialist). See also data from the Women’s Information and Referral Service in Appendix 2.

    For more information

    Commonwealth Office of the Status of Women, Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Window on Women: Women's Data Warehouse, 2003, <http://www.windowonwomen.gov.au/>.

    NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Publications and Statistics by Subject—Women, 1995-1999, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar1.nsf/pages/pub_utoz#women>.

    NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Apprehended Violence Orders Statistics for NSW, 1996-2002, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar1.nsf/pages/pub_atoc#avo>.


    Overview


    Table 17:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and service
    GenderLegal Aid NSW Information/Advice 2000-2002Legal Aid NSW
    Duty Solicitor 2000-2002
    NSW Community Legal Centres 1999-2002NSW Population 2001
    %
    IC
    %
    IC
    %
    IC
    %
    Male
    45.6
    92
    78.3
    158
    35.6
    72
    49.4
    Female
    54.4
    107
    21.7
    42
    64.4
    127
    50.6
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    366 633
    244 299
    362 435
    6 371 745
    Note:   Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.

    Legal matter

    Note: The Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service was not included in the analysis of legal matter due to the high proportion of inquiries about Criminal Law (87%).

    Table 18:  Top 5 specific areas of law by gender and service
    GenderLegal Aid NSW Information/Advice%NSW Community Legal Centres%
    MaleGeneral crime27.9Government/Legal system28.9
    Family24.8Family16.1
    Government/Legal system10.1Housing10.2
    Traffic offences5.4Credit/Debt6.9
    Credit/Debt5General crime6.6
    FemaleFamily50.6Family34.5
    General crime9.1Government/Legal system17.9
    Government/Legal system5.3Housing9.1
    Credit/Debt5Domestic violence7.5
    Housing3.6Credit/Debt5
    Note:  Specific areas of law in common for both services are shaded.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW, Community Legal Centres (unpublished data).


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service


    Table 19:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and year
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Gender
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    Male
    42.7
    45.7
    48.2
    45.6
    92
    49.4
    Female
    57.3
    54.3
    51.8
    54.4
    107
    50.6
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    111 543
    136 708
    118 382
    366 633
    6 371 745
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about gender was missing for an additional 393 (0.1%) inquiries.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 11:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and year
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service


    Table 20:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002
    Gender
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    Male
    78.5
    79.1
    76.4
    78.3
    158
    49.4
    Female
    21.5
    20.9
    23.6
    21.7
    42
    50.6
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    103 608
    88 882
    51 809
    244 299
    6 371 745
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about gender was missing for an additional 23 (< 0.01%) inquiries.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 12:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Table 21:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Gender
    1999
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    Male
    35.6
    35.5
    36.1
    35.3
    35.6
    72
    49.4
    Female
    64.4
    64.5
    63.9
    64.7
    64.4
    127
    50.6
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    84 436
    88 270
    93 780
    95 949
    362 435
    6 371 745
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about gender was missing for an additional 18184 (5%) inquiries.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Figure 13:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Legal matter, Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Services


    Figure 14:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and specific area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Note:  N = 221671. Information about gender was missing for an additional 393 (0.1%) of inquiries.
    See Table 5-1 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment

    Figure 14 shows the percentages of specific area of law of inquiries from men together with the corresponding percentage of inquiries from women.


    Legal matter, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Figure 15:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and specific area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Notes:  N = 361396. Information about gender was missing for an additional 19422 (5%) inquiries.
    See Table 5-2 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Based on the chi-square test examining specific areas of law for men and women:


    Age


    This section includes an analysis of the age of service users and the nature of their legal inquiries.

    Services with relevant data are the Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, the Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, Law Access NSW and NSW Community Legal Centres.

    For Legal Aid NSW and LawAccess NSW, age was mapped to the Law and Justice Foundation categories. NSW Community Legal Centre age data were provided in a slightly different grouping. (See Table 22).

    Table 22:  Law and Justice Foundation and NSW Community Legal Centre categories for age
    Law and Justice Foundation categoriesNSW Community Legal Centre categories
    0 to 14
    15 to 170 to 17
    18 to 2418 to 20
    25 to 3421 to 30
    35 to 4431 to 40
    45 to 5441 to 50
    55 to 6451 to 65
    65 to 7466 and over
    75 and over

    For more information

    Australian Bureau of Statistics, New South Wales' Young People, Catalogue No. 4123.1, ABS, Canberra, 1998.
    Australian Bureau of Statistics, Older People, New South Wales, Catalogue No. 4108.1, ABS, Canberra, 2000.
    Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Older Australians at a Glance, Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, Canberra, 1999.
    O'Connor, Ian and Clare Tilbury, Legal Aid Needs of Youth, Legal Aid Branch, Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, Canberra, 1986.
    Bareja, Michael and Kate Charlton, Statistics on Juvenile Detention in Australia: 1981-2002, Australian Institute of Criminology Technical and Background Paper Series No. 5, 2003, <http://www.aic.gov.au/publications/tbp/tbp005.pdf>.


    Overview


    Use of services

    Table 23:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and service
    Age (years)
    Legal Aid Advice 2000-2002
    Legal Aid Duty 2000-2002
    LawAccess NSW 2002
    NSW Community Legal Centresa 1999-2002
    NSW Pop'n 2001
    %
    IC
    %
    IC
    %
    IC
    %
    IC
    %
    0 to 14
    1.6
    8
    2
    10
    0.4
    1
    1.5
    6
    20.6
    15 to 17
    4.5
    107
    4
    95
    4.2
    18 to 24
    13.6
    148
    27.5
    219
    9
    97
    2.3
    56
    9.2
    25 to 44b
    52.7
    177
    55.1
    185
    57
    191
    46.6
    161
    29.8
    45 to 54
    14.1
    104
    7.5
    56
    16.8
    124
    24.7
    172
    13.5
    55 to 64
    6.8
    72
    2.6
    28
    11.6
    123
    16.5
    107
    9.4
    65 and over
    6.7
    51
    1.3
    10
    5.2
    39
    8.4
    68
    13.2
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    138 258
    244 087
    11 105
    380 619
    6 371 745
    a:  CLC age groups were defined slightly differently as outlined in Table 22.
    b:  The age groups 25 to 34 and 35 to 44 have been combined as they showed a similar pattern across all services.
    Note:  Shaded areas indicate that that IC is greater than 100.

    Legal matter

    Note: The Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service was not included in the analysis of age by legal matter due to the high proportion of inquiries about Criminal Law (87%).

    Table 24:  Broad area of law about which each age group was more likely to inquire, by service
    Age (years)Legal Aid NSW
    Advice 2000-2002
    LawAccess NSW 2002NSW Community Legal Centresa 1999-2002
    0 to 14CrimeCrimeCrime
    15 to 17CrimeCrime
    18 to 24CrimeCrimeCrime
    25 to 34FamilyCrime
    35 to 44FamilyFamilyFamily
    45 to 54FamilyFamily
    55 to 64CivilCivilCivil
    65 to 74CivilCivilCivil
    75 and overCivilCivil
    a:  CLC age groups are slightly different to the other services. See Table 20 for more details.


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Table 25:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and year
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Age (years)
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    0 to 14
    1.0
    1.5
    2.3
    1.6
    8
    20.6
    15 to 17
    1.6
    3.9
    7.7
    4.5
    107
    4.2
    18 to 24
    11.5
    13.8
    15.1
    13.6
    148
    9.2
    25 to 34
    26.7
    25.8
    25.6
    26
    179
    14.5
    35 to 44
    28.9
    27.1
    24.4
    26.7
    175
    15.3
    45 to 54
    15.8
    14.2
    12.6
    14.1
    104
    13.5
    55 to 64
    7.4
    6.9
    6.3
    6.8
    72
    9.4
    65 to 74
    4.1
    3.7
    3.2
    3.7
    52
    7.1
    75 and over
    3
    3.2
    2.8
    3
    49
    6.1
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    42 977
    46 302
    48 979
    138 258
    Notes: Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about age was missing for an additional 975 (0.7%) inquiries for the Advice Service. Age was not collected for 227793 inquiries to the Information Service.
    Source: Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 16:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and year
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service


    Table 26:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002
    Age
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW pop'n
    (years)
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    0 to 14
    2.6
    1.6
    1.6
    2
    10
    20.6
    15 to 17
    3.1
    4.1
    5.9
    4
    95
    4.2
    18 to 24
    27.9
    27.7
    26.4
    27.5
    219
    9.2
    25 to 34
    35.6
    34.8
    33.5
    34.9
    241
    14.5
    35 to 44
    20
    20.4
    20.2
    20.2
    132
    15.3
    45 to 54
    7.2
    7.6
    7.8
    7.5
    56
    13.5
    55 to 64
    2.5
    2.5
    3
    2.6
    28
    9.4
    65 to 74
    0.8
    0.8
    1.1
    0.9
    13
    7.1
    75 and over
    0.4
    0.4
    0.6
    0.4
    7
    6.1
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    103 528
    88 803
    51 756
    244 087
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about age was missing for an additional 235 ( 0.1%) inquiries.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 17:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, Law Access NSW


    Table 27:  Percentage of inquiries by age group
    LawAccess NSW, 2002
    Agea (years)
    %
    IC
    NSW pop'n %
    Under 17
    0.4
    1
    25
    18 to 24
    9
    97
    9.2
    25 to 34
    32.8
    226
    14.5
    35 to 44
    24.2
    158
    15.3
    45 to 54
    16.8
    124
    13.5
    55 to 64
    11.6
    123
    9.4
    65 and over
    5.2
    39
    13.2
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    11 105
    a  The age groups 0 to 14 and 15 to 17 have been combined due to the small proportion of inquiries for these groups. Similarly for 65-74 and 75 and over.
    Note:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about age was missing for an additional 49995 (82% ) inquiries.
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Table 28:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Age
    1999
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop'n
    (years)
    %
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    0 to 17
    1
    1.4
    1.4
    2.1
    1.5
    6
    25
    18 to 20
    1.7
    2.3
    2.4
    2.8
    2.3
    56
    4.1
    21 to 30
    15.4
    16.6
    18.5
    18.9
    17.4
    126
    13.8
    31 to 40
    29.1
    28.8
    29.2
    29.4
    29.2
    193
    15.1
    41 to 50
    26
    25
    24.5
    23.4
    24.7
    172
    14.3
    51 to 65
    18.1
    16.7
    16.3
    15.1
    16.5
    107
    15.4
    66 & over
    8.6
    9.2
    7.7
    8.4
    8.4
    68
    12.3
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    89 934
    91 923
    96 912
    101 853
    380 619
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Age groups are those provided by the National Information Scheme. They do not correspond to the groupings used for other services.
    Information about age was missing for 209340 (55%) inquiries (age was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Figure 18:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Legal matter, Legal Aid NSW Advice Centres


    Figure 19:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Notes:  N = 122651. Information about age was missing for an additional 865 (0.7%) inquiries for the Advice Service.
    Age was not collected for 227793 inquiries to the Information Service.
    See Table 5-3 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment

    Based on the chi-square examining broad area of law by age: Based on the chi-square, Table 29 shows the specific legal matters that each age group inquired about at a rate higher than sample rate.

    Table 29:  Specific area of law about which each age group was more likely to inquire
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Age(years)Specific area of law
    0 to 14 General crime, Wills/Estates
    15 to 17 General crime
    18 to 24 General crime, Traffic offences
    25 to 34 Family, Traffic offences
    35 to 44 Family, Business/Media
    45 to 54 Family, all Civil except for Government/Legal system
    55 to 64 All Civil
    65 to 74 All Civil except Employment
    75 and overConsumers, Government/Legal system,a Health/Human rights, Housing, Personal injury, Wills/Estates.
    a  60 per cent of inquiries about government/legal system were about veterans’ matters.
    We note that Legal Aid NSW has a Veterans’ Advocacy Service.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).


    Legal matter, Law Access NSW


    Figure 20:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
    LawAccess NSW, 2002

    Notes:  N = 11093. Information about age was missing for an additional 50007 (81.8%) inquiries.
    The age groups 0 to 14, 15 to 17 and 18 to 24 were combined due to the small proportion
    of inquiries. Similarly for 65 to 74 and over 74 year olds.
    See Table 5-4 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment
    For all age groups, the majority of inquiries were about Civil Law. However, based on the chi-square examining broad area of law by age, some age groups were even more likely than other age groups to inquire about Civil Law. Specifically, compared with all inquiries:
    Based on the chi-square, Table 30 shows the specific legal matters that each age group inquired about at a rate higher than the sample rate.

    Table 30:  Specific area of law about which each age group was more likely to inquire
    LawAccess NSW, 2002
    Age (years)Specific area of law
    Under 25General crime, Traffic offences, Motor vehicles
    25 to 34 Traffic offences, Credit/Debt, Motor vehicles
    35 to 44 Family law
    45 to 54 Personal injury, Wills/Estates
    55 to 64Government/Legal system, Health, Housing, Wills/Estates
    65 and overGovernment/Legal system, Housing, Wills/Estates
    Note:  N = 11093. Information about age was missing for an additional 50007 (82%) inquiries.
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).


    Legal matter, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Figure 21:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Notes:  N = 379481. Information about age was missing for 208715 (55%) inquiries (age was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    See Table 5-5 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment

    The high proportion of inquiries without information about age (55%) should be noted.

    For all age groups, the majority of inquiries were about Civil Law. However, based on the chi-square examining broad area of law by age, some age groups were even more likely than other age groups to inquire about Civil Law. Specifically, compared with all inquiries:

    Based on the chi-square, Table 31 shows the specific legal matters that each age group inquired about at a rate higher than the sample rate.

    Table 31:  Specific area of law about which each age group was more likely to inquire
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Age (years)Specific area of law
    0 to 17General crime, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights
    18 to 20General crime, Traffic offences, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights
    21 to 30General crime, Domestic violence, Traffic offences, Employment, Government/Legal system, Housing,a Motor vehicles
    31 to 40Family, Domestic violence
    41 to 50Family, Domestic violence, Consumers, Credit/Debt
    51 to 65Business/Media, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Employment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights, Housing,a Personal injury, Wills/Estates
    66 and overConsumers, Housing,a Personal injury, Wills/Estates
    a:  In the younger age groups, housing inquiries related predominantly to tenancy (93%), but in the older age groups, only 10 per cent were about tenancy, with the remainder concerning neighbours, noise, strata and fences.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).


    Country of birth


    This section covers the country of birth of service users and the nature of the legal matters about which they inquire.

    Services with available data are the Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, and NSW Community Legal Centres.

    Country of birth was mapped to Law and Justice Foundation categories (see Table 32). These categories are based on geographic regions used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics,21 modified so that English-speaking countries (Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom/Ireland and North America) are presented separately to non-English speaking countries. Some of the Australian Bureau of Statistics categories have been conflated, e.g. North-west, Southern and Eastern Europe are combined into Europe; and some have been further divided, e.g. Oceania has been divided into Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.

    Table 32:  Law and Justice Foundation groupings for country of birth of inquirers
    English speakingAustralia
    New Zealand
    United Kingdom/Ireland
    North America
    Non-English speakingPacific Islands
    Asia
    Middle East/North Africa
    Africa (excluding North Africa)
    South/Central America
    Europe

    For more information

    Duignan, Jonathon and Staden, Frances, Free and Independent Immigration Advice: an Analysis of Data Collected by the Immigration Advice and Rights Centre July 1990-November 1992, Australian Government Publishing Service, Canberra, 1995.

    Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Immigration Advice and Rights Centre Website Evaluation and Needs Analysis, 2002, <http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/resources/iarc/report_final.html>.

    NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Publications and Statistics by Subject—Ethnicity, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar1.nsf/pages/pub_dtoh#ethnicity>.


    Overview


    Use of services

    Table 33:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and service

    Country of birth
    Legal Aid Advice 2000-2002
    Legal Aid Duty Solicitor 2000-2002
    NSW Community Legal Centres 1999-2002
    NSW pop'n 2001
    Inquiries
    IC
    Inquiries
    IC
    Inquiries
    IC
    %
    %
    %
    %
    English
    speaking
    Australia
    67
    89
    78.4
    104
    63.8
    84
    75.2
    New Zealand
    2.6
    173
    3.5
    233
    2.3
    153
    1.5
    United Kingdom/Ireland
    3.3
    67
    2.2
    44
    5
    102
    4.9
    North America
    0.5
    100
    0.3
    60
    0.8
    160
    0.5
    Total English speaking
    73.4
    89
    84.4
    103
    71.9
    87
    82.1
    Non-English
    speakinga
    Pacific Islands
    2.2
    200
    2.2
    200
    2
    181
    1.1
    Asia
    10.1
    134
    5.7
    76
    10.6
    141
    7.5
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    1
    125
    0.5
    62
    1.3
    162
    0.8
    North Africa/Middle East
    5.2
    247
    2.9
    138
    4.2
    200
    2.1
    South/Central America
    1.7
    242
    0.8
    114
    2.7
    385
    0.7
    Europe
    6.4
    112
    3.5
    61
    7.3
    128
    5.7
    Total non-English speaking
    26.6
    149
    15.6
    87
    28.1
    156
    17.9
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    85 921
    230 542
    379 471
    a  Includes South Africa
    Note:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.



    Table 34:  Top 3 ICs for inquiries from service users born in non-English speaking countries, by service
    Legal Aid NSW AdviceICLegal Aid NSW Duty SolicitorICNSW Community Legal CentresIC
    North Africa/Middle East247Pacific Islands200South/Central America385
    South/Central America242North Africa/Middle East138North Africa/Middle East200
    Pacific Islands200South/Central America114Pacific Islands181

    Legal matter

    Data from two services—the Legal Aid NSW Advice Service and NSW Community Legal Centres—were analysed in terms of the types of legal matters about which different groups made inquiries. Data from the Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service were not included due to the high proportion of inquiries about Criminal Law (87%).

    The chi-square examining broad area of law by country of birth revealed that, in comparison to their total proportion of inquiries:

    The chi-square examining specific area of law by country of birth revealed that, in comparison to their total proportion of inquiries:


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Table 35:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and year
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Country of birth
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    English Australia
    67.3
    66.5
    67.1
    67
    89
    75.2
    speakingNew Zealand
    2.6
    2.6
    2.6
    2.6
    173
    1.5
    United Kingdom/Ireland
    3.4
    3.3
    3.1
    3.3
    67
    4.9
    North America
    0.5
    0.4
    0.5
    0.5
    100
    0.5
    Total English speaking
    73.8
    72.9
    73.3
    73.3
    89
    82.1
    Non-English Pacific Islands
    1.9
    2.2
    2.5
    2.2
    200
    1.1
    Speaking Asia
    9.7
    10.2
    10.3
    10.1
    134
    7.5
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    1
    1.1
    1
    1
    125
    0.8
    North Africa/Middle East
    5.1
    5.4
    5
    5.2
    247
    2.1
    South/Central America
    1.7
    1.7
    1.8
    1.7
    242
    0.7
    Europe
    6.8
    6.5
    6.1
    6.4
    112
    5.7
    Total non-English speaking
    26.2
    27.1
    26.7
    26.7
    149
    17.9
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    27 191
    28 532
    30 198
    85 921
    a  Includes South Africa.
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about country of birth was missing for an additional 53335 (38.3%) inquiries for the Advice Service. The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4. Country of birth was not collected for 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 22:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and year
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service


    Table 36:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002
    Country of birth 2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    English Australia
    78.4
    78.6
    78.3
    78.4
    104
    75.2
    speakingNew Zealand
    3.5
    3.5
    3.6
    3.5
    233
    1.5
    United Kingdom/Ireland
    2.1
    2.2
    2.2
    2.2
    44
    4.9
    North America
    0.3
    0.3
    0.3
    0.3
    60
    0.5
    Total English speaking
    84.2
    84.5
    84.4
    84.4
    103
    82.1
    Non-English Pacific Islands
    2.3
    2.1
    2.1
    2.2
    200
    1.1
    SpeakingaAsia
    6.1
    5.6
    5.3
    5.7
    76
    7.5
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    0.5
    0.5
    0.7
    0.5
    62
    0.8
    North Africa/Middle East
    2.8
    2.9
    3
    2.9
    138
    2.1
    South/Central America
    0.8
    0.7
    0.8
    0.8
    114
    0.7
    Europe
    3.4
    3.6
    3.8
    3.5
    61
    5.7
    Total non-English speaking
    15.8
    15.5
    15.6
    15.6
    87
    17.9
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    98 765
    84 024
    47 753
    230 542
    a  Includes South Africa.
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about country of birth was missing for an additional 12903 (5.3%) inquiries.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 23:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Table 37:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Country of birth1999200020012002AllNSW pop'n
    %%%%IC%%
    English Australia6563.963.26363.88475.2
    speaking New Zealand2.22.32.32.4231531.5
    United Kingdom/Ireland4.865.14.751024.9
    North America0.70.80.80.90.81600.5
    Total English speaking72.77371.47171.98782.1
    Non-English Pacific Islands2.11.92221811.1
    speakinga Asia1010.21111.110.61417.5
    Africa (excl. North Africa)1.21.21.31.41.31620.8
    North Africa/Middle East44.44.24.44.22002.1
    South/Central America2.72.62.72.82.73850.7
    Europe7.17.47.37.37.31285.7
    Total non-English speaking27.32728.62928.115617.9
    Total (%)100100100100100100
    Total (No.)89 80991 66696 541101 455379 471
    a  Includes South Africa.
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about country of birth was missing for 163173 (43%) inquiries (country of birth was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Figure 24:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Based on the chi-square examining country of birth by year:


    Legal matter, Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Figure 25:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Notes:  N = 77043. Information about country of birth was missing for an additional 46519 (38%) inquiries for
    the Advice Service. The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Country of birth was not collected for 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
    See Table 5-6 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Based on the chi-square examining country of birth by broad area of law: Based on the chi-square, Table 38 shows the specific legal matters that each country group inquired about at a rate higher than the sample rate.

    Table 38:  Specific area of lawa about which each birth country group was more likely to inquire
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Country of birthSpecific area of law
    AustraliaFamily, General crime, Health/Human rights, Wills/Estates
    New ZealandGeneral crime, Traffic offences
    United Kingdom/IrelandFamily, Housing, Personal injury
    North AmericaFamily
    Pacific IslandsTraffic offences
    AsiaConsumers, Employment, Government/Legal system,b Motor vehicles
    Sub-Saharan AfricaGovernment/Legal systemb
    North Africa/Middle EastConsumers, Government/Legal system,b Motor vehicles, Personal injury
    South/Central AmericaConsumers, Employment, Government/Legal system,b Motor vehicles
    EuropeBusiness/Media, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Employment, Government/Legal system,b Housing, Motor vehicles, Personal injury
    a  Civil-other not included.
    b  62 per cent of government/legal system inquiries from non-English speaking service users related to immigration or refugee matters; 20 per cent to administrative law and 14 per cent to pensions and allowances.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).


    Legal matter, NSW Community Legal Centre


    Figure 26:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and broad area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Notes:  N = 380619. Information about country of birth was missing for 162112 (43%) inquiries (country of birth was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    See Table 5-7 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment

    Table 39:  Specific area of law about which each birth country group was more likely to inquire
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Country of birthSpecific area of law
    AustraliaFamily, General crime, Domestic violence, Business/Media, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Health/Human rights, Wills/Estates
    New ZealandGeneral crime, Employment, Housing
    United Kingdom/IrelandGovernment/Legal system,a Housing, Wills/Estates
    North AmericaGovernment/Legal system,a Housing
    Pacific IslandsGovernment/Legal systema
    AsiaGovernment/Legal system,a Motor vehicles
    Sub-Saharan AfricaGovernment/Legal systema
    North Africa/Middle EastGovernment/Legal system,a Motor vehicles
    South/Central AmericaGovernment/Legal system,a Motor vehicles
    EuropeConsumers, Government/Legal system,a Motor vehicles, Personal injury, Wills/Estates
    a  79 per cent of government/legal system inquiries from non-English speaking service users related to immigration or refugee matters and 17 per cent related to pensions and allowances.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).


    Indigenous Australians


    This section presents information about the proportion of inquiries to the different legal assistance services from Indigenous Australians, and the nature of their legal problems.

    Services with available data are Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service and NSW Community Legal Centres.

    The report does not include data from the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service or Wirringa Baiya Women's Legal Centre.

    For more information

    Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/ajac.nsf/pages/index>.

    Aboriginal Justice Advisory Council, Driving Offences and Aboriginal People: Stage 1: Offence Targeting Project, 2003,<http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/ajac.nsf/51bf77d7793e43184a2565e800280584/5456562c82f0e90aca256d190012c3ed/$FILE/Aboriginal+people+%26+driving+Licence+offences.PDF>.

    Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission, Annual Report,.

    Australian Bureau of Statistics, Indigenous Social Survey, Cat. No. 4714.0, ABS, Canberra, 2004.

    Australian Institute of Criminology, Trends in the Imprisonment of Indigenous People in Australia, AIC, Canberra, 2000.

    Goodstone, Alexis and Dr. Patricia Ranald, Discrimination ..... Have You Got All Day? Public Interest Advocacy Centre, Sydney, 2001.

    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, A statistical overview of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People in Australia, 2004 <http://www.humanrights.gov.au/social_justice/statistics/>

    NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, Publications and Statistics by Subject—Aboriginality, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar1.nsf/pages/pub_atoc#aboriginality>.


    Overview


    Use of services

    Table 40:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous Australian status and service
    Indigenous Australians
    Legal Aid NSW Advice 2000-2002
    Legal Aid Duty Solicitor 2000-2002
    NSW Community Legal Centres 1999-2002
    NSW Pop'n
    %
    IC
    %
    IC
    %
    IC
    %
    Yes
    2
    105
    4
    210
    4.8
    252
    1.9
    No
    98
    99
    96
    97
    95.2
    97
    98.1
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    139 245
    244 322
    380 587
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.

    Legal matter

    Services include the Legal Aid NSW Advice Service and NSW Community Legal Centres. The Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service was not included due to the high proportion of inquiries about Criminal Law (87%).

    Table 41:  Five most frequent specific areas of law inquired about by Indigenous Australians, by service
    Legal Aid NSW Advice 2000-2002NSW Community Legal Centres 1999-2002
    Specific area of law
    %
    Specific area of law
    %
    General crime
    36.1
    Family
    36.7
    Family
    30.9
    General crime
    11.8
    Government/Legal system
    8.4
    Domestic violence
    11.4
    Credit/Debt
    2.7
    Government/Legal system
    9.6
    Personal injury
    2.6
    Credit/Debt
    6.2
    Based on the chi-square, there were significant differences in the specific area of law that Indigenous Australians inquired about compared with non-Indigenous Australians in both services:


    Proportions of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Table 42:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous Australian status and year
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Indigenous Australian
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    Yes
    2.1
    1.9
    2.1
    2
    105
    1.9
    No
    97.9
    98.1
    97.9
    98
    99
    98.1
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    43 324
    46 602
    49 319
    139 245
    Note:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 27:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous Australian status and year
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service


    Table 43:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous Australian status and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002
    Indigenous Australian
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    Yes
    4.1
    3.7
    4.1
    4
    211
    1.9
    No
    95.9
    96.3
    95.9
    96
    97
    98.1
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    103 620
    88 888
    51 814
    244 322
    Note:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 28:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous Australian status and year
    Legal Aid Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Table 44:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous Australian status and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Indigenous Australian
    1999
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    Yes
    4
    4.6
    5.1
    5.5
    4.8
    252
    1.9
    No
    96
    95.4
    94.9
    94.5
    95.2
    97
    98.1
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    89 901
    91 923
    96 911
    101 852
    380 587
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about Indigenous Australian status was missing for 178876 (47%) inquiries (Indigenous status was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).


    Figure 29:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous Australian status and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment

    Information about Indigenous Australian status was missing for a large proportion of the data (47%).


    Legal matter, Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Figure 30:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous Australian status and specific area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Notes:  N = 123562. Information about Indigenous status was missing for an additional 15683 (11%) inquiries for
    the Advice Service. Indigenous status was not collected for 227781 inquiries to the Information Service.
    See Table 5-8 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment
    The chi-square examining Indigenous Australian status by specific area of law indicated that, compared with non-Indigenous Australians:


    Legal matter, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Figure 31:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous Australian status and specific area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Notes:  N = 201385. Information about Indigenous status was missing for 179234 (47%) inquiries (Indigenous status was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    See Table 5-9 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment

    There was a high proportion of inquiries with no information about Indigenous status (47%). The chi-square for NSW Community Legal Centres examining Indigenous Australian status by specific area of law indicated that, compared with non-Indigenous Australians:


    Source of income


    This section provides data on the source of income of service users, including whether they receive an income, whether they are on government benefits and whether they are in paid employment.

    Services with available data are the Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service and NSW Community Legal Centres.

    The categories used by these organisations were mapped to Law and Justice Foundation categories as outlined in Table 45.

    Table 45:  Source of income categories
    Law and Justice FoundationLegal Aid NSW Community Legal Centres
    No incomeNo incomeNo income
    Government benefitsAllowancesCommunity Development Employment Program
    PensionsOther government benefits
    VeteransStudent allowance
    Social Security_
    Paid employmentEarned incomeEmployed full Time
    Full time_Employed part Time
    Part time_Self-employed
    Self-employed/Temporary_Employed temporarily

    As noted in the method section, it was not possible to calculate ICs for source of income due to differences between the categories used by the services and the NSW Census.

    For more information

    Harding, Ann, Rachel Lloyd and Harry Greenwell, Financial Disadvantage in Australia 1999-2000, The Smith Family/NATSEM, Sydney, 2001.


    Overview


    Use of services

    Table 46:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and service
    Source of income
    Legal Aid NSW
    Advice
    2000-2002
    %
    Legal Aid NSW
    Duty Solicitor
    2000-2002
    %
    NSW Community
    Legal Centres
    1999-2002
    %
    No income/government benefits
    No income
    1.0
    31.8
    9.3
    Government benefits
    65.8
    60.0
    57.7
    Total no income/government benefits
    66.8
    91.8
    67.7
    Paid employmenta
    33.2
    8.2
    33.0
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    123 562
    242 431
    380 620
    a  Paid employment can be broken down into part time, self-employed/temporary and full time for Community Legal Centres. Differences in the proportion of inquiries for these categories are discussed in the Community Legal Centres analysis.

    Legal matter

    Data were available for the Legal Aid NSW Advice Service and NSW Community Legal Centres. The Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service was not included due to the high proportion of inquiries about Criminal Law (87%).

    Table 47:  Specific area of law about which each income group was more likely to inquire
    Source of incomeLegal Aid NSW Information/Advice
    2000-2002
    NSW Community Legal Centres
    1999-2002
    No incomeGovernment/Legal systemGeneral crime, Employment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights
    Government benefitsGeneral crime, Traffic offences, Employment, Government/Legal systemFamily, General crime, Domestic violence, Credit/Debt, Personal injury, Wills/Estates
    Paid employmentaFamily, Health/Human rights, Housing, Personal injury, Wills/EstatesFamily, Traffic offences, Business/Media, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Employment, Housing, Motor vehicles
    a  Paid employment can be broken down into part time, self-employed/temporary and full time for Community Legal Centres.
    Note:  Areas of law in common for both services are shaded.


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Table 48:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and year
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Source of income
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    %
    %
    %
    %
    No income/government benefits
    No income
    1
    1.2
    0.9
    1
    Government benefitsa
    64.7
    65.7
    67.1
    65.8
    Total no. income/gov. benefits
    65.7
    66.9
    68
    66.8
    Paid employmentb
    34.3
    33.1
    32
    33.2
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    42 104
    40 959
    40 499
    123 562
    a  Those on government benefits can earn a small amount of income.
    b  It was not possible to divide paid employment into types of employment such as part time or full time.
    Note:  Information about source of income was missing for 39046 (32%) inquiries. The data have been adjusted to take this
    into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 32:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and year
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service


    Table 49:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002
    Source of income
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    %
    %
    %
    %
    No income/Government benefits
    No income
    32.4
    32.1
    30
    31.8
    Government benefitsa
    59.2
    60.1
    61.4
    60
    Total no income/gov. benefits
    91.6
    92.2
    91.4
    91.8
    Paid employmentb
    8.4
    7.8
    8.6
    8.2
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    102 931
    88 198
    51 302
    242 431
    a  Those on government benefits can earn a small amount of income.
    b  Paid employment could not be further broken down into types of employment such as part time or full time.
    Note:  Information about source of income was mising for an additional 1955 (0.8%) inquiries.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 33:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries,NSW Community Legal Centres


    Table 50:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres 1999-2002
    Source of income
    1999
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    %
    %
    %
    %
    %
    No income/government benefits
    No income
    8.9
    8.3
    9.9
    10.1
    9.3
    Government benefitsa
    57.2
    58.1
    57.1
    58.3
    57.7
    Total no income/government benefits
    66.1
    66.4
    67
    68.4
    67.7
    Paid employment
    Part time
    11.2
    11
    11.4
    11.3
    11.2
    Self-employed/ Temporary
    3.5
    3.2
    3.3
    2.9
    3.2
    Full time
    19.2
    19.4
    18.4
    17.5
    18.6
    Total paid employment
    33.9
    33.6
    33.1
    31.7
    33
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    89 933
    91 924
    96 911
    101 852
    380 620
    a  Those on government benefits can earn a small amount of income.
    Note:  Information about source of income was missing for 186504 (49%) inquiries (source of income was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).


    Figure 34:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment

    Based on the chi-square between source of income and year:


    Legal matter, Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Figure 35:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and specific area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Notes:  N = 123561. Information about source of income was missing for 38304 (31%) inquiries. The data have been adjusted
    to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    See Table 5-10 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Based on the chi-square examining specific area of law by source of income, when compared with the sample as a whole:


    Legal matter, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Figure 36:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and specific area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Notes:  N = 194645. Information about source of income was missing for an additional 187012 (49%) inquiries (source of income was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    See Table 5-11 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Based on the chi-square examining specific area of law by source of income, when compared with the sample as a whole: - Service users in part-time employment were more likely to inquire about family, traffic offences, employment and motor vehicles.
    - Service users who were self-employed were more likely to inquire about traffic offences, business/media, consumers, credit/debt and housing.
    - Service users who were employed full-time were more likely to inquire about traffic offences, consumers, credit/debt, employment, housing and motor vehicles.


    Region of residence


    This section looks at the distribution of inquiries across New South Wales.

    Services with relevant data are the Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, the Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, LawAccess NSW, NSW Community Legal Centres and the Chamber Magistrate Service.

    The residential postcodes of inquirers were grouped into regions according to the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC).25 Statistical Divisions were used to define regions outside Sydney and Statistical Subdivisions were used to define regions within the Sydney Statistical Division as shown in Figure 37. Inquiries from outside New South Wales were excluded, as were inquiries with non-residential postcodes. See Appendix 3 for more details.

    Figure 37:  Australian Bureau of Statistics regions

    The number of inquiries for each region was adjusted to reflect differences in population size based on the 2001 Census.26 Results are presented as rates per 1000 population per annum and as indices of concentration (ICs) (ratio of percentage of inquiries to percentage of population within region).

    For more information

    Australian Bureau of Statistics, Regional Statistics NSW, Catalogue No. 1362.1, ABS, 2002.

    Australian Bureau of Statistics, Sydney – a Social Atlas: 2001 Census of Population and Housing, Catalogue No. 2030.1, ABS, 2002.

    NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, New South Wales Recorded Crime Statistics by Area, 1998-2002, 2003, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar1.nsf/pages/lga_home>.


    Overview


    Use of services

    Variations in regional use patterns may be susceptible to a number of factors including the availability of services, knowledge of services or socioeconomic indicators. Further research into the use of services examining the links between regional use, availability of services and other factors would be a valuable exercise.27

    Table 51:  Regions with a higha index of concentration of inquiries for at least 3 services
    Statistical Division
    Legal Aid NSW Information/ Advice 2000-2002
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor 2000-2002
    LawAccess NSW 2002
    NSW Community Legal Centres 1999-2002
    Chamber Magistrate 1999-2001
    IC
    IC
    IC
    IC
    IC
    SydneyInner Sydney
    103
    180
    116
    260
    118
    Central Western
    134
    225
    118
    130
    Blacktown
    206
    102
    134
    102
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    185
    148
    103
    Outer South Western
    172
    140
    145
    Richmond-Tweed
    117
    136
    119
    146
    Illawarra
    128
    118
    128
    Mid-North Coast
    136
    120
    156
    Northern
    141
    139
    220
    Far West
    104
    335
    138
    a  ‘High’ is defined as ‘greater than 100’

    Table 52:  IC of inquiries for Sydney and non-Sydney regions, by service
    Service
    Sydney
    Non-Sydney
    IC
    IC
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice
    100
    99
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor
    115
    75
    LawAccess NSW
    96
    107
    Community Legal Centres
    114
    76
    Chamber Magistrate
    64
    161

    Legal matter

    Services with available data include the Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, LawAccess NSW and NSW Community Legal Centres. The Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service was not included due to the high proportion of inquiries about Criminal Law (87%) and the Chamber Magistrate Service was not included due to insufficient detail about legal matter.

    Table 53 presents, by broad area of law and service, regions with percentages of inquiries that were higher than the corresponding percentage for NSW overall.

    Table 53:  Regions with above average percentages of inquiries by broad area of law and service
    Statistical Division
    Family
    Crime
    Civil
    Legal Aid
    Law Access
    CLC
    Legal Aid
    Law Access
    CLC
    Legal Aid
    Law Access
    CLC
    SydneyInner Sydney
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Eastern Suburbs
    X
    X
    X
    X
    St George-Sutherland
    X
    X
    X
    Canterbury-Bankstown
    X
    X
    X
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Outer South Western Sydney
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Inner Western Sydney
    X
    X
    X
    Central Western Sydney
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Outer Western Sydney
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Blacktown
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Lower Northern Sydney
    X
    X
    X
    Central Northern Sydney
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Northern Beaches
    X
    X
    X
    Gosford-Wyong
    X
    X
    X
    Hunter
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Illawarra
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Richmond-Tweed
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Mid-North Coast
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Northern
    X
    X
    X
    North Western
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Central West
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    South Eastern
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Murrumbidgee
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Murray
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Far West
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    a  Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service 2000-2002, LawAccess NSW 2002, Community Legal Centres 1999-2002.
    Note:  H = Higher than the NSW average for the given service and broad area of law.

    In terms of the types of legal matters inquired about by service users, patterns can be discerned across the 3 services for which data were available.


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service


    The data set includes inquiries from the following Legal Aid NSW offices and outreach advice clinics:
    It also includes data from the following NSW wide telephone assistance services: Legal Aid Helpline (until October 2001), Mental Health Advocacy Service, Prisoners Legal Service, Veterans Advocacy Service, Child Support Service and the Legal Aid HotLine for Under 18s.

    Table 54:  Percentages, indices of concentration and rates of inquiries per 1000 population by region of residence of inquirer and year
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Statistical Division
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW pop’n
    Rate per 1000 per annum
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    SydneyInner Sydney
    5.5
    4.9
    4.8
    5
    103
    4.9
    17.3
    Eastern Suburbs
    3.4
    3.1
    2.8
    3.1
    85
    3.7
    14.2
    St George-Sutherland
    5.1
    7.2
    10.8
    7.7
    118
    6.5
    19.8
    Canterbury-Bankstown
    4.8
    4.1
    4.6
    4.4
    95
    4.7
    15.9
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    6.8
    11
    11.1
    9.7
    185
    5.3
    30.9
    Outer South Western Sydney
    5.3
    6.7
    6.3
    6.1
    172
    3.6
    28.8
    Inner Western Sydney
    2.1
    1.8
    2
    1.9
    79
    2.5
    13.2
    Central Western Sydney
    5.8
    5.6
    6.7
    6
    134
    4.5
    22.4
    Outer Western Sydney
    3.9
    3.6
    3.8
    3.7
    78
    4.8
    13
    Blacktown
    3.9
    3.5
    4.2
    3.9
    96
    4
    16.1
    Lower Northern Sydney
    2.7
    2.4
    2.5
    2.5
    58
    4.4
    9.7
    Central Northern Sydney
    2.6
    2.5
    2.5
    2.5
    42
    6.1
    7
    Northern Beaches
    2.3
    1.8
    1.9
    2
    58
    3.4
    9.7
    Gosford-Wyong
    4.8
    4.3
    3.5
    4.2
    94
    4.5
    15.7
    Total Sydney
    59
    62.5
    67.5
    63
    100
    62.8
    16.8
    Hunter
    9.2
    8.6
    7.5
    8.4
    95
    8.9
    16
    Illawarra
    7.1
    8.2
    7.7
    7.7
    128
    6
    21.4
    Richmond-Tweed
    4.6
    3.8
    3.3
    3.9
    117
    3.4
    19.5
    Mid-North Coast
    6.4
    5.8
    5.4
    5.9
    136
    4.3
    22.7
    Northern
    2
    1.5
    1.4
    1.6
    59
    2.7
    9.9
    North Western
    1.5
    1.3
    1.1
    1.3
    72
    1.8
    12
    Central West
    3.8
    3.4
    2.4
    3.2
    120
    2.7
    20.2
    South Eastern
    2.4
    1.8
    1
    1.7
    55
    3.1
    9.3
    Murrumbidgee
    2.5
    2
    1.8
    2.1
    90
    2.3
    15.1
    Murray
    1.2
    1
    0.7
    1
    57
    1.7
    9.5
    Far West
    0.3
    0.2
    0.1
    0.2
    51
    0.4
    8.5
    Total Non-Sydney
    41
    37.5
    32.5
    37
    99
    37.3
    16.6
    Total NSW (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    16.7
    Total NSW (No.)
    99 728
    119 186
    100 900a
    319 814
    a  LawAccess NSW replaced the Legal Aid Helpline in October 2001.
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Postcode was not recorded in 5 per cent of inquiries. 2 per cent of inquiries were from interstate, and 2 per cent of inquiries were classified as Business (see Appendix 3 for further information). These have been excluded from the analysis.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 38:  Rate of inquiries per 1000 population by region
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002



    Note:  Figure 38 graphically presents all 25 regions in terms of whether they had ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ rates of inquiries per 1000 population to the Legal Aid Information/Advice Service. The six regions with the top 25 per cent of inquiries (that is, those in the upper quarter) were defined as having high rates, the six regions with the lowest 25 per cent of inquiries (that is, those in the lower quarter) were defined as having low rates, and the remaining thirteen regions (those in the middle two quarters) were defined as having medium rates.

    Comment

    Figure 39:  Proportion of inquiries from Sydney and non-Sydney regions by year
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data)

    Based on the chi-square examining region of residence of inquirers by year:


    Proportion of inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service


    Duty Solicitor Services are located in over 160 local courts across NSW.28

    Table 55:  Percentages, indices of concentration and rates of inquiries per 1000 population by region of residence of inquirer and year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002
    Statistical Division
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW Pop’n
    Rate per 1000 per annum
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    SydneyInner Sydney
    8.7
    8.7
    9.1
    8.8
    180
    4.9
    22.6
    Eastern Suburbs
    3.2
    3.2
    3.5
    3.2
    89
    3.7
    11.1
    St George-Sutherland
    3.6
    4.4
    5.9
    4.4
    67
    6.5
    8.5
    Canterbury-Bankstown
    6.1
    5.9
    5.9
    6
    129
    4.7
    16.2
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    8.2
    8.3
    6.3
    7.8
    148
    5.3
    18.6
    Outer South Western Sydney
    5.5
    4.9
    4.2
    5
    140
    3.6
    17.6
    Inner Western Sydney
    1.7
    1.7
    1.9
    1.7
    70
    2.5
    8.7
    Central Western Sydney
    10
    10.1
    10.2
    10.1
    225
    4.5
    28.2
    Outer Western Sydney
    6.3
    5.8
    4.7
    5.8
    120
    4.8
    15
    Blacktown
    9.4
    8.1
    6.4
    8.3
    206
    4
    25.9
    Lower Northern Sydney
    1.9
    1.9
    2.2
    2
    45
    4.4
    5.6
    Central Northern Sydney
    2
    2.2
    2.5
    2.2
    36
    6.1
    4.5
    Northern Beaches
    1.8
    1.9
    2
    1.8
    54
    3.4
    6.7
    Gosford-Wyong
    4.8
    4.9
    4.8
    4.8
    108
    4.5
    13.6
    Total Sydney
    73
    72.1
    69.6
    72
    115
    62.8
    14.4
    Hunter
    7.6
    8.6
    9.4
    8.3
    94
    8.9
    11.8
    Illawarra
    5.6
    6.2
    6.1
    5.9
    99
    6
    12.4
    Richmond-Tweed
    3.3
    3.3
    3.6
    3.3
    99
    3.4
    12.5
    Mid-North Coast
    2.9
    2.7
    3.2
    2.9
    67
    4.3
    8.4
    Northern
    1.5
    1.4
    1.5
    1.5
    54
    2.7
    6.8
    North Western
    0.3
    0.4
    1.4
    0.6
    33
    1.8
    4.2
    Central West
    2.7
    2.6
    1.7
    2.4
    91
    2.7
    11.5
    South Eastern
    0.8
    0.7
    0.9
    0.8
    26
    3.1
    3.3
    Murrumbidgee
    1.6
    1.5
    1.7
    1.6
    68
    2.3
    8.5
    Murray
    0.6
    0.5
    0.8
    0.6
    36
    1.7
    4.5
    Far West
    0
    0
    0.1
    0.1
    12
    0.4
    1.5
    Total non-Sydney
    27
    27.9
    30.4
    28
    75
    37.3
    9.4
    Total NSW (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    12.5
    Total NSW (No.)
    101 614
    87 164
    50 835
    239 613
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    In 0.2 per cent of inquiries, postcode was not recorded. 0.7 per cent were classified as Business (see Appendix 3 for further details) and 1 per cent were from outside NSW. These have all been excluded from the analysis.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).


    Figure 40:  Rate of inquiries per 1000 population by region
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor, 2000-2002




    Note: Figure 40 graphically presents all 25 regions in terms of whether they had ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ rates of inquiries per 1000 population.

    Comment

    Figure 41:  Proportion of inquiries from Sydney and non-Sydney regions by year
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service, 2000-2002

    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Based on the chi-square examining region of residence of inquirers by year:


    Proportion of inquiries, Law Access NSW


    The data set covers information and advice inquiries from across NSW.

    Table 56:  Percentages, indices of concentration and rates of inquiries per 1000 population by region of residence of inquirer
    LawAccess NSW, 2002
    Statistical Division
    Inquiries
    Rate per 1000
    %
    IC
    per annum
    SydneyInner Sydney
    5.7
    116
    9.4
    Eastern Suburbs
    3.7
    100
    8.3
    St George-Sutherland
    6
    93
    7.5
    Canterbury-Bankstown
    3.7
    80
    6.5
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    4.8
    90
    7.3
    Outer South Western Sydney
    2.7
    76
    6.2
    Inner Western Sydney
    2.4
    96
    7.8
    Central Western Sydney
    5.3
    118
    9.6
    Outer Western Sydney
    4.8
    100
    8
    Blacktown
    4.1
    102
    8.3
    Lower Northern Sydney
    4.5
    102
    8.3
    Central Northern Sydney
    4.3
    70
    5.7
    Northern Beaches
    2.8
    83
    6.7
    Gosford-Wyong
    5.4
    122
    9.9
    Total Sydney
    60.2
    96
    7.8
    Hunter
    10.7
    121
    9.8
    Illawarra
    5.6
    94
    7.6
    Richmond-Tweed
    4.5
    136
    11
    Mid-North Coast
    5.2
    120
    9.7
    Northern
    2.4
    88
    7.1
    North Western
    2.6
    141
    11.4
    Central West
    2.2
    82
    6.6
    South Eastern
    3.4
    107
    8.7
    Murrumbidgee
    1.7
    75
    6.1
    Murray
    1.1
    63
    5.1
    Far West
    0.4
    104
    8.5
    Total non-Sydney
    39.8
    107
    8.7
    Total NSW (%)
    100
    8.1
    Total NSW (No.)
    51 638
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Postcode was not recorded in 5 per cent of inquiries. 7 per cent of inquiries were classified as Business (see Appendix 3 for details), and 4 per cent were from interstate. These have all been excluded from the analysis.
    Source:  Law Access NSW (unpublished data).

    Figure 42:  Rate of inquiries per 1000 population by region
    LawAccess NSW 2002


    Note:  Figure 42 graphically presents all 25 regions in terms of whether they had ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ rates of inquiries per 1000 population.

    Comment


    Proportion of inquiries, NSW Community Legal Centres


    The data set covers the following generalist NSW Community Legal Centres in NSW:29
    It also covers the following specialist Community Legal Centres providing services across NSW: Aged-Care Rights Service, Consumer Credit Legal Centre, Environmental Defenders Office, Disability Rights Service, HIV/Aids Legal Centre, Immigration Advice and Rights Centre, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, National Children’s and Youth Law Centre, Tenants’ Union of NSW, Welfare Rights Centre, Women’s Legal Resources Centre.

    Table 57:  Percentages, indices of concentration and rates of inquiries per 1000 population by region of residence of inquirer and year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Statistical Division
    1999
    2000
    2001
    2002
    All
    NSW pop'n
    Rate per
    %
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    1000
    Sydney Inner Sydney
    12.9
    12.7
    12.4
    12.8
    12.7
    260
    4.9
    32.9
    Eastern Suburbs
    6.5
    6
    5.5
    5.2
    5.8
    159
    3.7
    20.1
    St George-Sutherland
    3.6
    3.8
    3.7
    4.1
    3.8
    59
    6.5
    7.4
    Canterbury-Bankstown
    3.5
    4
    4
    4.3
    4
    85
    4.7
    10.8
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    4.7
    5.7
    5.5
    5.8
    5.4
    103
    5.3
    13
    Outer South Western Sydney
    3.7
    4.6
    5.8
    6.4
    5.2
    145
    3.6
    18.4
    Inner Western Sydney
    2.8
    3
    3
    3.3
    3
    122
    2.5
    15.4
    Central Western Sydney
    5.5
    5.5
    5.8
    6.6
    5.8
    130
    4.5
    16.4
    Outer Western Sydney
    11.1
    10
    9.4
    8.5
    9.7
    201
    4.8
    25.4
    Blacktown
    5.6
    5.1
    5.3
    5.5
    5.4
    134
    4
    16.9
    Lower Northern Sydney
    3.1
    3.3
    3.2
    3.3
    3.3
    74
    4.4
    9.3
    Central Northern Sydney
    3
    2.9
    3.3
    3.5
    3.2
    53
    6.1
    6.7
    Northern Beaches
    1.5
    1.4
    1.4
    1.5
    1.4
    41
    3.4
    5.2
    Gosford-Wyong
    3.6
    2.9
    2.9
    2.9
    3.1
    69
    4.5
    8.7
    Total Sydney
    71.1
    70.8
    71.1
    73.8
    71.8
    114
    62.8
    14.5
    Hunter
    5.8
    4.7
    4.2
    4.4
    4.7
    53
    8.8
    6.8
    Illawarra
    6.3
    7.6
    7.4
    6.9
    7.1
    118
    6
    14.9
    Richmond-Tweed
    4.9
    4.7
    4.4
    2.2
    4
    119
    3.3
    15.1
    Mid-North Coast
    2.3
    2
    1.8
    1.5
    1.9
    44
    4.3
    5.5
    Northern
    2.8
    2.4
    2.3
    2.3
    2.4
    90
    2.7
    11.4
    North Western
    2.6
    2.3
    2.8
    2.4
    2.5
    139
    1.8
    17.6
    Central West
    1.4
    1.6
    1.5
    1.5
    1.5
    56
    2.7
    7.1
    South Eastern
    1
    0.8
    0.8
    1.1
    0.9
    29
    3.1
    3.7
    Murrumbidgee
    0.8
    0.8
    0.7
    1.3
    0.9
    39
    2.3
    4.9
    Murraya
    0.8
    1
    0.9
    1.2
    1
    58
    1.7
    7.4
    Far West
    0.3
    1.2
    1.9
    1.6
    1.3
    335
    0.4
    42.4
    Total non-Sydney
    28.9
    29.2
    28.9
    26.2
    28.2
    76
    37.2
    9.6
    Total NSW (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    12.7
    Total NSW (No.)
    75 241
    79 625
    82 799
    84 574
    322 239
    a  Murray is also covered by the Murray Mallee Community Legal Service based in Victoria.
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Postcode was not recorded in 0.1 per cent of inquiries. 3 per cent of inquiries were from interstate and 2 per cent were classified as Business (see Appendix 3 for further information). These have all been excluded from the analysis.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).


    Figure 43:  Rate of inquiries per 1000 population by region
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002


    Note:  Figure 43 graphically presents all 25 regions in terms of whether they had ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ rates of inquiries per 1000 population. Regions were defined as having high, medium or low rates of inquiries as per the method stated earlier in this section.

    Comment

    Figure 44:  Proportion of inquiries from Sydney and non-Sydney regions by year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Based on the chi-square examining region of residence of inquirers by year:


    Proportion of inquiries, Chamber Magistrate Service


    Chamber Magistrates are located in over 160 Local Courts across New South Wales.30

    Table 58:  Percentages, ICs and rates of inquiries per 1000 population by region of residence of inquirer and year
    Chamber Magistrate Service, 1999-2001
    Statistical Division
    1999
    2000
    2001
    All
    NSW Pop’n
    Rate per 1000 per
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    annum
    SydneyInner Sydney
    6.2
    5.7
    5.4
    5.8
    118
    4.9
    27.5
    Eastern Suburbs
    1.3
    1.4
    1.9
    1.5
    42
    3.7
    9.8
    St George-Sutherland
    3.1
    3.4
    3.9
    3.4
    53
    6.5
    12.4
    Canterbury-Bankstown
    1.7
    2.4
    2.2
    2.1
    45
    4.7
    10.5
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    3.8
    4
    3.9
    3.9
    74
    5.3
    17.3
    Outer South Western Sydney
    3.5
    2.6
    2.5
    2.9
    81
    3.6
    18.8
    Inner Western Sydney
    1.8
    1.4
    1.8
    1.7
    68
    2.5
    15.8
    Central Western Sydney
    3.6
    3.2
    2.4
    3.1
    68
    4.5
    15.8
    Outer Western Sydney
    4.1
    3.6
    3.3
    3.6
    75
    4.8
    17.5
    Blacktown
    3.3
    4.4
    4.6
    4.1
    102
    4
    23.8
    Lower Northern Sydney
    0.3
    0.5
    0.7
    0.5
    12
    4.4
    2.7
    Central Northern Sydney
    1.5
    1.7
    1.8
    1.6
    27
    6.1
    6.3
    Northern Beaches
    1.6
    1.5
    1.5
    1.5
    45
    3.4
    10.4
    Gosford-Wyong
    3.5
    4.5
    5.1
    4.4
    98
    4.5
    22.7
    Total Sydney
    39.3
    40.1
    41.1
    40.2
    64
    62.8
    14.9
    Hunter
    13.2
    13
    13.1
    13.1
    148
    8.8
    34.5
    Illawarra
    8.1
    7.6
    7.3
    7.7
    128
    6
    29.8
    Richmond-Tweed
    5
    5.1
    4.6
    4.9
    146
    3.3
    34
    Mid-North Coast
    6.8
    7.2
    6.3
    6.8
    156
    4.3
    36.4
    Northern
    4.3
    3.9
    3.7
    3.9
    145
    2.7
    33.9
    North Western
    4
    3.6
    4.4
    4
    220
    1.8
    51.2
    Central West
    5.5
    5.9
    5.6
    5.7
    213
    2.7
    49.6
    South Eastern
    5.2
    5.3
    5.1
    5.2
    166
    3.1
    38.7
    Murrumbidgee
    5.3
    5.3
    5.4
    5.3
    231
    2.3
    53.7
    Murray
    2.8
    2.7
    2.6
    2.7
    159
    1.7
    36.9
    Far West
    0.5
    0.5
    0.6
    0.5
    138
    0.4
    32.2
    Total non-Sydney
    60.7
    59.9
    58.9
    59.8
    161
    37.2
    37.4
    Total NSW (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    23.3
    Total (No.)
    147 412
    146 557
    151 212
    445 181
    a  Chamber Magistrate regions were converted into ABS statistical subdivisions and divisions. This could only be done approximately. See
    Appendix 1 for more details.
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    0.1 per cent of inquiries were from Children's Courts. These have been excluded from the analysis.
    Source:  NSW Local Courts (unpublished data).


    Figure 45:  Rate of inquiries per 1000 population by region
    Chamber Magistrate Service, 1999-2001



    Note:  Figure 45 graphically presents all 25 regions in terms of whether they had ‘high’, ‘medium’ or ‘low’ rates of inquiries per 1000 population to the Chamber Magistrate Service.

    Comment
    Figure 46:  Proportion of inquiries from Sydney and non-Sydney regions by year
    Chamber Magistrate Service, 1999-2001

    Source:  NSW Local Courts (unpublished data).

    Based on the chi-square examining region of residence of inquirers by year:


    Legal matter, Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service


    Table 59:  Percentage of inquiries by region of residence and broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Statistical Division
    Family
    Crime
    Civil
    Total
    %
    %
    %
    %
    SydneyInner Sydney
    28.5
    26.8
    44.7
    100
    Eastern Suburbs
    31.2
    26.1
    42.7
    100
    St George-Sutherland
    39.2
    22.2
    38.6
    100
    Canterbury-Bankstown
    36.1
    20.4
    43.4
    100
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    38.2
    23.7
    38.1
    100
    Outer South Western Sydney
    41.9
    30.1
    28
    100
    Inner Western Sydney
    33
    19.2
    47.8
    100
    Central Western Sydney
    27.6
    34.5
    37.9
    100
    Outer Western Sydney
    43.9
    28.5
    27.6
    100
    Blacktown
    41.9
    33.6
    24.5
    100
    Lower Northern Sydney
    35
    18.4
    46.6
    100
    Central Northern Sydney
    41.9
    19.2
    38.9
    100
    Northern Beaches
    51.8
    18
    30.1
    100
    Gosford-Wyong
    44.5
    22.2
    33.2
    100
    Hunter
    50
    18
    32
    100
    Illawarra
    40.4
    20.5
    39.1
    100
    Richmond-Tweed
    42.7
    20.2
    37.2
    100
    Mid-North Coast
    43.1
    13.3
    43.6
    100
    Northern
    42.6
    22
    35.5
    100
    North Western
    42.2
    23.3
    34.5
    100
    Central West
    39.2
    27.7
    33.1
    100
    South Eastern
    39.7
    20.7
    39.6
    100
    Murrumbidgee
    36.9
    34.7
    28.3
    100
    Murray
    48.1
    23.8
    28
    100
    Far West
    38.9
    21.3
    39.8
    100
    NSW average
    40.1
    23.5
    36.4
    100
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate higher than the NSW average for the given broad area of law.
    N = 201707. Postcode was not recorded in 5 per cent of inquiries. Of the remainder, 2 per cent were from interstate and 2 per cent were classified as Business (see Appendix 3 for further information). These have all been excluded from the analysis.
    Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment

    Based on the chi-square examining region of residence of inquirers by broad area of law:
    Figure 47:  Regions with an above average percentage of inquiries for each broad area of law
    NSW Legal Aid Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Based on the chi-square, Table 60 shows the specific legal matters that inquirers from each region of residence inquired about at a rate higher than the rate for the sample.

    Table 60:  Specific area of law about which residents of different regions were more likely to inquire
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Statistical DivisionSpecific area of law
    SydneyInner SydneyGeneral crime, Business/Media, Employment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights, Housing, Motor vehicles, Personal injury
    Eastern SuburbsGeneral crime, Employment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights, Housing, Motor vehicles, Personal injury
    St George-SutherlandDomestic violence, Consumers, Employment, Government/Legal system, Housing, Wills/Estates
    Canterbury-BankstownConsumers, Government/Legal system, Motor vehicles, Personal injury
    Fairfield-LiverpoolGeneral crime, Government/Legal system, Motor vehicles
    Outer South Western SydneyFamily, General crime, Traffic offences
    Inner Western SydneyConsumers, Credit/Debt, Employment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights, Housing, Motor vehicles
    Central Western SydneyGeneral crime, Government/Legal system
    Outer Western SydneyGeneral crime, Family, Traffic offences
    BlacktownGeneral crime, Family, Domestic Violence, Traffic offences
    Lower Northern SydneyTraffic offences, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Employment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights, Housing
    Central Northern SydneyFamily, Consumers, Government/Legal system
    Northern BeachesFamily, Employment, Traffic offences
    Gosford-WyongFamily, Domestic violence, Credit/Debt, Housing, Wills/Estates
    HunterFamily, Health/Human rights, Wills/Estates
    IllawarraHousing
    Richmond-TweedFamily, Domestic violence, Traffic offences, Credit/Debt, Housing, Motor Vehicles, Wills/Estates
    Mid-North CoastFamily, Business/Media, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Employment, Health/Human rights, Housing, Personal injury, Wills/Estates
    NorthernFamily, Domestic violence, Business/Media, Credit/Debt
    North WesternDomestic violence, Credit/Debt, Wills/Estates
    Central WestGeneral crime, Domestic violence, Credit/Debt, Employment, Wills/Estates
    South EasternBusiness/Media, Credit/Debt, Employment, Housing, Wills/Estates
    MurrumbidgeeGeneral crime, Domestic violence
    MurrayFamily, Domestic violence
    Far WestBusiness/Media, Personal injury
    Note:  Phone counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).


    Legal matter, Law Access NSW


    Table 61:  Percentage of inquiries by region of residence and broad area of law
    LawAccess NSW, 2002
    Statistical Division
    Family
    Crime
    Civil
    Total
    %
    %
    %
    %
    SydneyInner Sydney
    17.3
    18.4
    64.3
    100
    Eastern Suburbs
    18.1
    16.7
    65.2
    100
    St George-Sutherland
    24.4
    15.9
    59.7
    100
    Canterbury-Bankstown
    23
    14.1
    62.8
    100
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    22.2
    15.9
    61.9
    100
    Outer South Western Sydney
    30.4
    15.1
    54.4
    100
    Inner Western Sydney
    20.4
    16.5
    63.1
    100
    Central Western Sydney
    22.3
    16.7
    61
    100
    Outer Western Sydney
    29
    16.4
    54.5
    100
    Blacktown
    25.8
    17.6
    56.6
    100
    Lower Northern Sydney
    18.7
    14.5
    66.8
    100
    Central Northern Sydney
    22.6
    14.4
    63
    100
    Northern Beaches
    22.3
    15.6
    62.2
    100
    Gosford-Wyong
    31.4
    15.5
    53.1
    100
    Hunter
    33.8
    19
    47.2
    100
    Illawarra
    34.6
    16.3
    49.1
    100
    Richmond-Tweed
    35.4
    18.4
    46.1
    100
    Mid-North Coast
    35
    17
    48
    100
    Northern
    33.8
    15.8
    50.3
    100
    North Western
    34.1
    18.8
    47.1
    100
    Central West
    34.1
    18.4
    47.5
    100
    South Eastern
    34.3
    20.9
    44.8
    100
    Murrumbidgee
    34.1
    23.7
    42.2
    100
    Murray
    39.1
    21.5
    39.4
    100
    Far West
    32.8
    20.6
    46.6
    100
    NSW average
    27.8
    17
    55.1
    100
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate higher than the NSW average for the given broad area of law.
    N = 51596. Postcode was not recorded in 5 per cent of inquiries. Of the remainder, 7 per cent of inquiries were from Business (see Appendix 3 for details) and 4 per cent were from interstate. These have been excluded from the analysis.
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment

    As is shown in Table 61, the majority of inquiries made to LawAccess NSW for all regions of NSW concerned Civil Law, followed by Family Law and Criminal Law. There were, however, significant differences between metropolitan and non-metropolitan regions in terms of the type of legal matters about which residents were more likely to inquire. Based on the chi-square examining region of residence of inquirers by broad area of law:

    Figure 48 shows which of the 25 regions had an above average percentage of inquiries for each broad area of law (i.e. higher than the corresponding percentage for NSW overall).

    Figure 48:  Regions with an above average percentage of inquiries for each broad area of law
    LawAccess NSW, 2002

    Based on the chi-square examining specific area of law by region of residence, Table 62 shows the specific legal matters that inquirers from each region of residence inquired about at a rate higher than the rate for the sample.

    Table 62:  Specific area of law about which residents of different regions were more likely to inquire
    LawAccess NSW, 2002
    Region of residenceSpecific area of law
    SydneyInner SydneyGeneral crime, Government/Legal system, Business, Employment, Housing
    Eastern SuburbsTraffic offences, Employment, Housing, Business, Consumers
    St George-SutherlandWills/Estates, Housing, Consumers
    Canterbury-BankstownWills/Estates, Employment, Government/Legal system, Business
    Fairfield-LiverpoolEmployment, Personal injury, Motor vehicles, Consumers
    Outer South Western SydneyMotor vehicles
    Inner Western SydneyHousing, Consumers
    Central Western SydneyHealth, Personal injury, Motor vehicles
    Outer Western SydneyConsumers, Credit/Debt
    BlacktownGeneral crime, Credit/Debt
    Lower Northern SydneyHousing, Wills/Estates, Media, Business
    Central Northern SydneyHousing, Wills/Estates, Consumers, Traffic offences
    Northern BeachesGovernment/Legal system, Housing, Wills/Estates
    Gosford-WyongFamily
    HunterFamily, Domestic violence, Human rights, Traffic offences
    IllawarraFamily
    Richmond-TweedFamily, Domestic violence
    Mid-North CoastFamily, Domestic violence
    NorthernFamily, Credit/Debt, Government/Legal system, Business/Media
    North WesternFamily, Domestic violence, Credit/Debt
    Central WestFamily
    South EasternFamily, General crime, Traffic offences
    MurrumbidgeeFamily, General crime
    MurrayFamily
    Far WestGeneral crime
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).


    Legal matter, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Table 63:  Percentage of inquiries by broad area of law and region of residence
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Statistical Division
    Family
    Crime
    Civil
    Total
    %
    %
    %
    %
    SydneyInner Sydney
    13.4
    15.8
    70.9
    100
    Eastern Suburbs
    16.5
    11.9
    71.6
    100
    St George-Sutherland
    24.1
    7.7
    68.2
    100
    Canterbury-Bankstown
    24.9
    9.1
    66
    100
    Fairfield-Liverpool
    34.5
    9.4
    56.1
    100
    Outer South Western Sydney
    41.3
    13.6
    45.1
    100
    Inner Western Sydney
    14.9
    7.1
    78
    100
    Central Western Sydney
    27
    10.8
    62.2
    100
    Outer Western Sydney
    39.9
    18.8
    41.3
    100
    Blacktown
    37.2
    10.9
    51.9
    100
    Lower Northern Sydney
    19.5
    7.3
    73.2
    100
    Central Northern Sydney
    27.7
    7.3
    65
    100
    Northern Beaches
    14.9
    5.5
    79.5
    100
    Gosford-Wyong
    36.2
    10.4
    53.4
    100
    Hunter
    30
    22
    48.1
    100
    Illawarra
    39.9
    11.4
    48.7
    100
    Richmond-Tweed
    24.2
    9.8
    66
    100
    Mid-North Coast
    29.5
    14.7
    55.8
    100
    Northern
    36.9
    12.3
    50.8
    100
    North Western
    42.9
    17.1
    40
    100
    Central West
    38.5
    25
    36.6
    100
    South Eastern
    32.8
    10.1
    57.1
    100
    Murrumbidgee
    47.8
    11.7
    40.5
    100
    Murraya
    47.1
    15.3
    37.6
    100
    Far West
    31.4
    21.6
    47
    100
    NSW average
    29.2
    12.9
    57.8
    100
    a  Murray is also covered by the Murray Mallee Community Legal Service based in Victoria.
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate higher than the NSW average for the given broad area of law.
    N = 321362. Postcode was not recorded in 0.1 per cent of inquiries. 3 per cent of inquiries were from interstate and 2 per cent were classified as Business (see Appendix 3 for further information). These have been excluded from the analysis.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment

    As is shown in Table 63, the majority of inquiries made to NSW Community Legal Centres concerned Civil Law (58%), followed by Family Law (29%) and Criminal Law (13%). There were, however, differences between regions in the broad area of law about which inquiries were more likely to be made. Based on the chi-square examining region of residence of inquirers by broad area of law:

    Figure 49 shows, for each broad area of law, which of the 25 regions had an above average percentage of inquiries (i.e. higher than the corresponding percentage for NSW overall).

    Figure 49:  Regions with an above average percentage og inquiries for each broad area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002

    Based on the chi-square, Table 64 shows the specific legal matters that inquirers from each region of residence inquired about at a rate higher than the rate for the sample.

    Table 64:  Specific area of law about which residents of different regions were more likely to inquire
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 2000-2002
    Statistical DivisionSpecific area of law
    SydneyInner SydneyGeneral crime, Domestic violence, Traffic offences, Business/Media, Consumers, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights, Motor vehicles, Wills/Estates
    Eastern SuburbsGeneral crime, Traffic offences, Business/Media, Consumers, Employment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights, Motor vehicles, Personal injury, Wills/Estates
    St George-SutherlandConsumers, Employment, Government/Legal system
    Canterbury-BankstownEmployment, Government/Legal system, Motor vehicles
    Fairfield-LiverpoolFamily, Traffic offences, Employment, Government/Legal system, Motor vehicles
    Outer South Western SydneyFamily, Domestic violence, Traffic offences, Credit/Debt, Employment
    Inner Western SydneyGovernment/Legal system
    Central Western SydneyEmployment, Government/Legal system, Motor vehicles
    Outer Western SydneyFamily, General crime, Domestic violence, Traffic offences, Credit/Debt
    BlacktownFamily, Consumers, Employment, Motor vehicles, Wills/Estates
    Lower Northern SydneyEmployment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights
    Central Northern SydneyEmployment
    Northern BeachesEmployment, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights
    Gosford-WyongFamily, Consumers, Health/Human rights, Personal injury
    HunterGeneral crime, Domestic violence, Business/Media, Consumers, Health/Human rights, Wills/Estates
    IllawarraFamily, Traffic offences, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Health/Human rights, Wills/Estates
    Richmond-TweedGovernment/Legal system
    Mid-North CoastDomestic violence, Business/Media, Government/Legal system, Health/Human rights
    NorthernFamily, General crime, Business/Media, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Health/Human rights, Personal injury, Wills/Estates
    North WesternFamily, General crime, Domestic violence, Credit/Debt, Employment, Wills/Estates
    Central WestFamily, Domestic violence
    South EasternFamily, Consumers, Government/Legal system
    MurrumbidgeeFamily, Health/Human rights
    MurrayFamily, General crime, Traffic offences, Business/Media, Credit/Debt
    Far WestFamily, General crime, Traffic offences, Business/Media, Consumers, Credit/Debt, Health/Human rights, Wills/Estates
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).


    Ch 3. Pathways of service users


    This section includes analyses of the source of inquiry and referral destination.

    Services with relevant data are the Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, Law Access NSW and NSW Community Legal Centres.

    For both source of inquiry and referral destination, service categories were mapped to Law and Justice Foundation categories, as described in Table 65.

    Table 65:  Law and Justice Foundation categories for source of inquiry and referral destination
    Level 1Level 2
    Self helpAlready knew about Friend/Family
    PublishedMedia
    Telephone book
    Publication
    Internet
    GovernmentMP/Local counsellor
    Government-local
    Government
    Other non-legalHealth professional
    Community organisation
    Library
    Union / Association
    Employer
    School
    Private organisation
    Complaint handling/Law enforcementDispute resolution service
    Complaint handling body
    Police
    Legal LawAccess NSW
    Legal Aid NSW Helpline
    Community Legal Centre
    Legal Aid NSW
    Solicitor/Barrister
    Court
    OtherNot referred

    For more information

    Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census Basic Community Profile and Snapshot: New South Wales, B16 Internet Use by Sex, 2001, <http://www.abs.gov.au>.

    Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Immigration Advice and Rights Centre Website Evaluation and Needs Analysis, 2002, <http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/resources/iarc/report_final.html>.

    Marzio, W. D. and Cultural Partners Australia, Access To Information About Government Services Among Culturally And Linguistically Diverse Audiences, Study No. 00/10/2817, Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet, Melbourne, 2001, <http://www.voma.vic.gov.au/domino/web_notes/voma/vomasite.nsf/Frameset/VOMA?OpenDocument>.


    Source of inquiry: Overview


    The Legal Aid NSW Advice service is the only service reported in this section.31


    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Figure 50:  Source of inquiry by year
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Notes:   N = 48887. Source of inquiry was not collected for 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
    In 65 per cent of inquiries, the source of inquiry was recorded as ‘other’. These have been excluded from the analysis.
    See Table 5-12 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment
    - The four most frequent sources of inquiry were non-legal—friend/family (35%), police (17%), telephone book (12%) and government (10%).
    - The proportion of referrals from legal services to Legal Aid NSW was comparatively small—courts (8%), solicitors (3%), LawAccess/Legal Aid NSW helpline (3%) and Community Legal Centres (2%).

    Based on the chi-square examining source of inquiry by year between 2000 and 2002:


    Legal matter, Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Figure 51:  Source of inquiry by broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002

    Notes:  N = 48886. Source of inquiry was not collected for 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
    In 65% of inquiries, the source of inquiry was recorded as ‘other’. These have been excluded from the analysis.
    See Table 5-13 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment
    How service users found out about the Legal Aid NSW Advice Service depended on the type of legal matter. Based on the chi-square examining broad area of law by source of inquiry, when compared with service users overall:


    Referral destination: Overview


    Data on referral destination were available for the Legal Aid NSW Information Service, LawAccess NSW and NSW Community Legal Centres.

    Referral destination

    Table 66:  Top four referral destinations by service
    Legal Aid NSW Information
    %
    LawAccess NSW
    %
    NSW Community Legal Centres
    %
    Community legal centre
    25.7
    Legal Aid NSW
    26.5
    Private solicitor
    23.4
    Private solicitor
    19.5
    Court
    16.2
    Court
    15.9
    Court
    18.4
    Private solicitor
    15.6
    Community organisation
    14.6
    Government
    11.7
    Dispute resolution
    12.5
    Community legal centre
    13.8

    Legal matter

    Table 67:  Referral destination to which service users were more likely to be referred, by broad area of law and service
    ServiceFamilyCrimeCivil
    Legal Aid NSW Information Private solicitorsCourts, PoliceGovernment, Community legal centres, Dispute resolution
    LawAccess NSWLegal Aid NSW, Private solicitors, Courts, GovernmentCourts, Police, Legal Aid NSW, Private solicitorsPrivate solicitors, Dispute resolution, Government, Legal Aid NSW, Courts
    NSW Community Legal CentresLegal Aid NSW, Private solicitors, Courts, Dispute resolutionCourts, Legal Aid NSW, Private solicitors, Community Legal CentresCommunity legal centres, Government, Dispute resolution, Community organisations
    Note:  Referral destinations in common for all three services are shaded.


    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service


    Figure 52:  Referral destination by year
    Legal Aid NSW Information Service, 2000-2002

    Notes:  N = 65667. Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 2382 (4%) inquiries.
    This figure ONLY shows those inquiries that were referred. For all inquiries, see Table 5-14 in Appendix 5.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Based on the chi-square examining referral destination by year (see Table 5-14 in Appendix 5 for more details):


    Law Access NSW


    Figure 53:  Referral destination
    LawAccess NSW, 2002

    Notes:  N = 36371. Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 73 (0.2%) inquiries.
    This figure ONLY shows those inquiries that were referred. For all inquiries, see Table 5-15 in Appendix 5.
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment


    NSW Community Legal Centres


    Figure 54:  Referral destination by year
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2001

    Notes:  N = 114046. This figure ONLY shows those inquiries that were referred. For all inquiries, see Table 5-16 in Appendix 5.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment Based on the chi-square examining referral destination by year (see Table 5-16 in Appendix 5 for more details):


    Legal matter, Legal Aid NSW Information Service


    Figure 55:  Referral destination by broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Information Service, 2000-2002

    Notes:  N = 91986. Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 7923 (8%) inquiries for the Information
    Service. Information about referral destination was not collected for 139256 inquiries to the Advice Service.
    See Table 5-17 in Appendix 5 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment

    Based on the chi-square examining broad area of law by referral destination, when compared with all inquiries: Based on the chi-square, Table 68 shows the referral destinations that were more likely for each specific area of law than for the sample as a whole.

    Table 68:  Referral destination to which users were more likely to be referred, by specific area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Information Service, 2000-2002
    Specific area of lawReferral destinationa
    FamilySolicitor, Not referred
    General crimePolice
    Domestic violenceCourt, Police, Solicitor
    Traffic offencesCourt, Police, Solicitor
    Business/MediaSolicitors
    ConsumersDispute resolution, Government
    Credit/DebtCommunity legal centre, Court
    EmploymentCommunity legal centre, Government
    Government/Legal systemNot referred, Government
    Health/Human rightsNot referred, Government
    HousingCommunity legal centre, Court, Dispute resolution, Solicitor, Government
    Motor vehiclesCommunity legal centre, Court
    Personal injurySolicitor, Government
    Wills/EstatesSolicitor, Government, Not referred
    a  Does not include 'other'.
    Note:  N = 91986. Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 7923 (8%) inquiries for the Information
    Service. Information about referral destination was not collected for 139256 inquiries to the Advice Service
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).


    Legal matter, Law Access NSW


    Figure 56:  Referral destination by broad area of law
    LawAccess NSW, 2002

    Notes:  N = 60894. Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 183 (0.3%) inquiries.
    See Table 5-18 in Appendix 5 for more detail.
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment

    Based on the chi-square examining broad area of law by referral destination, when compared with all inquiries: Based on the chi-square, Table 69 shows the referral destinations that were more likely for each specific area of law than for the sample as a whole.

    Table 69:  Referral destination to which users were more likely to be referred by specific area of law
    LawAccess NSW, 2002
    Area of lawReferral destination
    Family Legal Aid, Court, Not referred
    General crimePolice, Legal Aid
    Domestic violencePolice, Community legal centre, Court
    Traffic offencesLibrary, Police, Legal Aid, Court
    Business/MediaGovernment, Solicitor, Not referred, Community legal centre
    ConsumersGovernment, Complaint handling bodies,
    Credit/DebtCommunity organisation, Community legal centre
    EmploymentCommunity organisation, Union/Association, Government, Complaint handling, Community legal centre, Solicitor
    Government/Legal systemGovernment, NSW Community Legal Centre, Not referred
    Health/Human rightsLegal Aid NSW, Court, Government, Community legal centre
    HousingCommunity organisation, Union/Association, Dispute resolution, Government
    Motor vehiclesUnion/Association, Court, Not referred
    Personal injurySolicitor, Complaint handling
    Wills/EstatesLibrary, Union/Association, Solicitor, Court, Not referred
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).


    Legal matter, NSW Community Legal Centres


    Figure 57:  Referral destination by broad area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2001

    Notes:  N = 325526. Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 980 (0.3%) inquiries.
    See Table 5-19 in Appendix 5 for more detail.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Comment

    Referral destination differed according to the legal matter. Based on the chi-square examining broad area of law by referral destination, when compared with all inquiries: Based on the chi-square, Table 70 shows the referral destinations that were more likely for each specific area of law than for the sample as a whole.

    Table 70:  Referral destination to which users were more likely to be referred, by specific area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2001
    Specific area of lawReferral destination
    Family Dispute resolution, Legal Aid, Solicitor, Court
    General crimePolice, Community legal centre, Legal Aid
    Domestic violenceDispute resolution, Police, Court
    Traffic offencesCommunity legal centre, Legal Aid
    Business/MediaGovernment, Solicitor, Community legal centre
    ConsumersGovernment, Dispute resolution, Non-legal (other)a, Community legal centre
    Credit/DebtCommunity organisation, Community legal centre, Not referred
    EmploymentGovernment, Non-legal (other), Community legal centre, Not referred
    Government/Legal systemGovernment, Not referred
    Health/Human rightsGovernment, Dispute resolution, Non-legal (other), Community legal centre, Not referred
    HousingCommunity organisation, Government, Dispute resolution
    Legal systemPolice, Community legal centre, Legal Aid NSW, Courts
    Motor vehiclesNon-legal (other), Community legal centre, Not referred
    Personal injurySolicitor
    Wills/EstatesSolicitor
    a  Includes private organisations such as insurance companies.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data)


    Section 2. Dispute resolution agencies


    Introduction

    This section provides an overview of the role of dispute resolution agencies within the legal system. It describes 24 of these agencies operating in New South Wales and reports on their published collection of demographic and usage data, as well as the purpose, scope, methodology and limitations of the statistical analysis undertaken in this study. More detail on usage statistics of agencies is available in Appendix 6.


    Role of dispute resolution agencies


    A diverse range of organisations can be described under the broad heading dispute resolution agencies. They can include public and private organisations, and organisations which cover either State or Commonwealth jurisdictions. They include government departments, industry bodies, Ombudsman's organisations, Commissions and Tribunals.

    The diversity in the structures, jurisdictions, and processes of these agencies, together with the various areas of law over which they have coverage, is significant, and indicates their potential use in a wide variety of legal disputes. For instance, government departments can receive complaints in relation to alleged breaches of legislation under their jurisdiction; for example, under the Industrial Relations Act 1996, the NSW Office of Industrial Relations can take action for a breach of an award or enterprise agreement and recover unpaid entitlements. Community Justice Centres have a different role in that they provide mediation and conflict resolution services. Ombudsman's bodies deal with complaints concerning government services or authorities. The powers of Tribunals are set out in their defining legislation and may include the power to make decisions and review decisions made by others, as well as having a role in education and policy or legal reform. Industry bodies deal with complaints regarding the provision of services within a particular industry, for example, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman is a free and independent alternative dispute resolution scheme for small business and residential consumers who have a complaint about their telephone or Internet service.

    Despite the differences in their relevant jurisdictions, and the diversity of their structures, these agencies have many similar functions and features, including the capacity to answer inquiries and to receive, investigate and resolve complaints. They usually have distinct procedures for resolving disputes and complaints. In most cases, their processes are accessible by telephone (at least in the first phase).

    One of the key roles of these bodies is to provide an alternative to the dispute resolution process provided by the court system. They provide a way for people to take their dispute or complaint forward without the substantial costs associated with going to court. In addition, they provide a relatively streamlined and straightforward process for the resolution of disputes, which often allows for negotiation between the parties, within an agreed framework and usually mediated by a third party. The importance of these organisations is therefore not only in the accessible low cost framework they provide for conflict resolution, but also in the support they provide to individuals against larger, more powerful disputants.

    Because these processes for complaint handling and dispute resolution are generally more accessible than court-based procedures, and cover a wide variety of legal issues, dispute resolution agencies are an important mechanism for improving access to justice for socially and economically disadvantaged people. Indeed, some of these agencies have established specific programs to address the needs of particular groups to further enhance their accessibility.

    In his address to the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Access to Justice and Legal Needs Workshop in July 2002, Justice Ronald Sackville stated:
    One way of determining the extent to which dispute resolution agencies provide an accessible and effective alternative to court-based dispute resolution for disadvantaged groups is by examining the profile of persons accessing these services. Currently there is little research in NSW on the profile of users of dispute resolution agencies. The National Alternative Dispute Resolution Service has carried out research into the collection of data by alternative dispute resolution agencies. However, this research does not appear to cover data on the demographics of service users.33

    The purpose of the present study, therefore, is to assess the availability of demographic data on the users of dispute resolution agencies, as a first step in understanding how accessible these bodies are to disadvantaged groups. More specifically, the aim of this study is to examine the demographic data published by these agencies in annual reports and reviews, and if possible, to use these data to begin to build a demographic profile of the service users of these agencies.


    Description of agencies


    The agencies are organised into three categories—government, tribunals and self-regulated industry. Within these categories they are divided into State and Commonwealth agencies. While it is possible to classify dispute resolution agencies in a number of different ways, we divided them according to the way in which they were established, and by their processes for dispute resolution.

    Organisations listed under government were established by the government through legislation and, in most cases, adopt processes which are essentially inquisitorial, or have a strong emphasis on mediation and conciliation. Those classified as tribunals were established by the government and adopt a primarily quasi-judicial process in resolving complaints and disputes. Those listed under self-regulated industry were established by organisations within that particular industry and are not generally governed by legislation.

    Government - Commonwealth

    Australian Consumer and Competition Commission
    http://www.accc.gov.au/
    Established: 1995 (merger of the Trade Practices Commission and the Prices Surveillance Authority)
    Legislation: Trade Practices Act 1974, Prices Surveillance Act 1983 (plus additional responsibilities under other legislation)
    Jurisdiction: National. Covers anti-competitive and unfair market practices, mergers or acquisitions of companies, product safety/liability, and third party access to facilities of national significance.

    Commonwealth Ombudsman
    http://www.comb.gov.au/
    Established: 1977
    Legislation: Ombudsman Act 1976, Freedom of Information Act 1982, Complaints (Australian Federal Police) Act 1981, the Telecommunications (Interception) Act 1979, Ombudsman Act 1989 (ACT) and Freedom of Information Act 1989 (ACT)
    Jurisdiction: Commonwealth and ACT. Considers and investigates complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly or unreasonably by a Commonwealth Government department or agency, including the Australian Taxation Office, the Australian Federal Police and the Australian Defence Force. The Commonwealth Ombudsman is also the ACT Ombudsman.

    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
    http://www.hreoc.gov.au/
    Established: 1986
    Legislation: Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Act 1986, Race Discrimination Act 1975, Sex Discrimination Act 1984, Disability Discrimination Act 1992
    Jurisdiction: National. Matters which can be investigated by the Commission include discrimination on the grounds of race, colour or ethnic origin, racial vilification, sex, sexual harassment, marital status, pregnancy, or disability.

    Private Health Insurance Ombudsman
    http://www.phio.org.au/home.php
    Established: 1995
    Legislation: National Health Act 1953
    Jurisdiction: National. Resolves problems about private health insurance and acts as the umpire in dispute resolution at all levels within the private health industry. Complaints can be made by fund members, doctors, some dentists, hospitals, day hospital facilities, and health funds.

    Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
    http://www.tio.com.au/
    Established: 1993
    Legislation: Telecommunications (Consumer Protection and Service Standards) Act 1999
    Jurisdiction: National. Provides a dispute resolution service for residential and small business consumers who have been unable to resolve a complaint with their telephone or Internet service provider.

    Government - State

    Anti-Discrimination Board
    http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/adb.nsf/pages/index
    Established: 1977
    Legislation: Anti-Discrimination Act 1977
    Jurisdiction: NSW. Promotes anti-discrimination and equal opportunity principles in NSW, handles complaints about discrimination, conducts education regarding rights and responsibilities and puts forward recommendations for changes to policies and the law.

    Community Justice Centres
    http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/cjc.nsf/pages/index
    Established: 1980
    Legislation: Community Justice Centres Act 1983
    Jurisdiction: NSW. Provide mediation and conflict management services to help people resolve their own disputes.

    Health Care Complaints Commission
    http://www.hccc.nsw.gov.au
    Established: 1994
    Legislation: Health Care Complaints Act 1993
    Jurisdiction: NSW. Resolves, reviews and investigates complaints about health care.

    NSW Ombudsman
    http://www.nswombudsman.nsw.gov.au/
    Established: 1975
    Legislation: Ombudsman Act 1974
    Jurisdiction: NSW. Investigates and reports on complaints about the conduct of a NSW agency or their employee. NSW agencies include government departments and statutory authorities, for example, police, local councils, schools and universities and some non-government agencies, for example, area health services, non-government schools, child care centres and agencies providing community services.

    Office of Industrial Relations
    http://www.dir.nsw.gov.au/
    Established: 2003 (formerly Department of Industrial Relations)
    Legislation: Industrial Relations Act 1996
    Jurisdiction: NSW. The Act enables awards and enterprise agreements to be made and sets out the obligations of employers including the requirements to keep time and wage records, issue pay slips and display awards and enterprise agreements. The Act also allows the Office to take action for a breach of an award or enterprise agreement and recover unpaid entitlements.

    Office of the Legal Services Commissioner
    http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/olsc1.nsf/pages/index
    Established: 1994
    Legislation: Legal Profession Act 1987
    Jurisdiction: NSW. The Office oversees the investigation of complaints and resolves disputes in relation to the conduct of solicitors, barristers and licensed conveyancers.

    Tribunals - Commonwealth

    Administrative Appeals Tribunal
    http://www.aat.gov.au/
    Established: 1976
    Legislation: Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act 1975
    Jurisdiction: National. Provides independent review of a wide range of administrative decisions made by the Commonwealth Government and some non-government bodies. It covers areas such as taxation, customs, freedom of information, social security, veteran’s entitlements and Commonwealth employees’ compensation and superannuation.
    Migration Review Tribunal
    http://www.mrt.gov.au/
    Established: 1999 (formerly the Immigration Review Tribunal est. 1989)
    Legislation: Migration Act 1958
    Jurisdiction: National. Reviews visa criteria, sponsor arrangements, the points system and decisions made by the Minister for Immigration regarding the refusal of visas and business nomination decisions.
    Refugee Review Tribunal
    http://www.rrt.gov.au
    Established: 1993
    Legislation: Migration Act 1958
    Jurisdiction: National. Reviews decisions made by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA) to refuse or cancel protection visas to non-citizens in Australia.

    Social Security Appeals Tribunal
    http://www.ssat.gov.au/
    Established: 1975
    Legislation: Social Security (Administration) Act 1999
    Jurisdiction: National. Hears appeals against decisions made by the Department of Family and Community Services, Centrelink, Department of Veteran’s Affairs and the Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.

    Superannuation Complaints Tribunal
    http://203.147.241.209/main.htm
    Established: 1994
    Legislation: Superannuation Act 1993
    Jurisdiction: National. Deals with superannuation related complaints.

    Tribunals - State
    Administrative Decisions Tribunal
    http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/adt.nsf/pages/index
    Established: 1998
    Legislation: Administrative Decisions Tribunal Act 1997
    Jurisdiction: NSW. Makes original decisions and reviews decisions made by other bodies. It is made up of five divisions: General, Community Services, Retail Leases, Legal Services and the Revenue.

    Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal
    http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/secondarymenus/cttt.html
    Established: 2002 (formerly the Residential Tribunal and the Fair Trading Tribunal)
    Legislation: Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal Act 2001
    Jurisdiction: NSW. Specialist dispute resolution forum for consumer trader and tenancy matters. The Tribunal consists of nine divisions: Tenancy, General, Home Building, Building Conciliation Service, Motor Vehicles, Residential Parks, Strata and Community Schemes, Commercial and Retirement Villages.

    Self-regulated industry - Commonwealth
    Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman
    http://www.abio.org.au/ABIOWeb/abiowebsite.nsf
    Established: 2003 (formerly Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman, est. 1989)
    Jurisdiction: National. An independent dispute resolution service which considers disputes between individuals or small businesses and financial services providers.

    Credit Union Dispute Resolution Centre
    http://www.cudrc.com.au
    Established: 1996
    Jurisdiction: National. Assists participating credit unions and their members resolve complaints in a fair, timely and cost-effective manner.

    Financial Industry Complaints Service Ltd
    http://www.fics.asn.au/
    Established: 1999 (formerly the Life Insurance Complaints Service est. 1991)
    Jurisdiction: National inquiry and complaint resolution service in relation to life insurance, financial planning, stockbroking and managed investment issues.

    Insurance Brokers Disputes Ltd
    http://www.ibdltd.com.au/
    Established: 2002 (formerly the Insurance Brokers Dispute Facility est. 1996)
    Jurisdiction: National. Handles complaints and helps resolve problems between insurance brokers and financial services providers (other than insurance companies) and their clients.

    Insurance Enquiries and Complaints Ltd
    http://www.iecltd.com.au
    Established: 1993
    Jurisdiction: National. Resolves disputes between insurers and their insurance companies or claimants who have a dispute with another person's insurance company in relation to motor vehicle property damage (i.e. third party claim).

    Self-regulated industry - State
    Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW
    http://www.ewon.com.au
    Established: 1998
    Jurisdiction: NSW. Provides an independent way of resolving complaints for customers of electricity and gas providers, and member water providers.


    Methodology


    The study reviewed publicly available statistical information presented in the annual reports and reviews of the 24 dispute resolution agencies examined.34 These particular agencies were chosen for three reasons: they cover NSW residents, they are listed in the National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council paper on alternative dispute resolution statistics,35 and they collect some form of usage or demographic data.

    Agencies with State and/or Commonwealth jurisdictions were included and have been categorised into three types: government, tribunals and self-regulated industry.

    Published data on all complaints and inquiries were collected over a three-year period. Some agencies report on calendar years and others on financial years. The three calendar years of interest were 2000, 2001 and 2002. The three corresponding financial years of interest were 1999/2000, 2000/2001 and 2001/2002. Because many agencies did not have the relevant data over all three years of interest, frequencies and percentages are presented as yearly averages based on the available years.

    For each agency, we attempted to collect publicly available information on the following demographic characteristics of the person making the inquiry or lodging the complaint: Available information on the source of the inquiry to the agency and the destination of any referral resulting from the complaint were also collected.

    For each agency, we also collected the available data on the volume of complaints and/or inquiries lodged each year. This information is reported in Appendix 6.

    Limitations of the data

    A number of issues were identified regarding the quality of the usage and demographic data published by the agencies including: Given the issues with data quality, particularly the large numbers of missing data, it was not possible to provide a reliable profile of the service users of dispute resolution agencies. Thus, the present study is best conceived of as a preliminary, exploratory study providing suggestive rather than conclusive information on the demographic characteristics of service users of dispute resolution agencies. Nonetheless, we consolidated the publicly available data as a starting point for developing such a profile.

    Consistent and collaborative collection of demographic data by dispute resolution agencies would provide a valuable basis for measuring the use of services by disadvantaged users.


    Demographic characteristics of service users


    The following tables present a summary of the publicly available demographic data of the 24 agencies examined. For each demographic variable, the percentages presented are based on all complaints with 'valid' or 'specified' information for that variable. These are listed in each table. Given the high proportion of missing values, the total number of complaints (per year) and the percentage of all complaints that had 'specified' information for each demographic variable are also listed. NSW population figures are based on the 2001 census.36

    Although the tables consolidate publicly available data, due to the large proportion of missing data, they present only indicative rather than conclusive information about the demographic characteristics of service users. While most agencies published information on volume and performance indicators, only approximately one third published some form of demographic information about their service users in their annual report. Of the 24 agencies, 7 published information on gender, making gender the most commonly published piece of demographic information, followed by source of inquiry (5 agencies), age (4 agencies) and region (4 agencies) (see Table 72).


    Gender


    Table 71:  Percentage of complaints by gender and service
    AgencyYears
    Gender specified
    Gender missing
    Total Complaints
    Men
    %
    Women
    %
    Annual No.
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    Annual No.
    Health Care Complaints Commissiona2001/2002
    42.1
    57.9
    2 402
    260
    9.8
    2 662
    Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    51
    49
    4 300
    0
    -
    4 300
    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commissionb2000/2001 to 2001/2002
    49.4
    50.6
    1 229
    38
    3
    1 267
    Anti-Discrimination Boardc 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    47.5
    52.5
    1 491
    40
    2.6
    1 531
    Community Justice Centresd1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    45.4
    54.6
    5 570
    18 910
    77.2
    24 480
    Insurance Brokers Dispute Facility 2000 to 2002
    64.4
    35.6
    95
    75 (e)
    44.1
    170
    Superannuation Complaints Tribunal 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    64.7
    35.3
    1 826
    0
    -
    1 826
    a  The other 1.3% consist of ‘joint complainants’.
    b  The other 3% include couple or familiy, on others behalf, organisations and community/other group.
    c  The other 2% consist of the category ‘other’. Numbers include both complaints and inquiries.
    d  Information is collected in relation to the first point of contact. 16.8% of annual complaints are recorded as either couple or organisation/community.
    e  A large proportion of complaints with gender missing were categorised as small business.
    Sources:  HCCC, EWO, HREOC, ADB, CJC, IBDF and SCT Annual Reports.

    Comment

    Table 72:  Summary of demographic data published by dispute resolution agencies in Annual Reports 2000-2002
    Agency
    Age
    Disability
    Gender
    Ethnicity
    Language
    Indigenous
    Employment
    Region
    Source of inquiry
    Referred to
    Occupation
    Administrative Appeals Tribunal
    Administrative Decisions Tribunal
    Anti-Discrimination Board
    X
    X
    X
    Australian Consumer and Competition Commission
    Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman
    Xa
    Commonwealth Ombudsman
    Community Justice Centresb
    X
    X
    Xc
    X
    X
    Xd
    X
    X
    Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal
    Credit Union Dispute Resolution Centre
    Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW
    X
    Xe
    Financial Industry Complaints Service
    X
    Health Care Complaints Commission
    X
    X
    X
    X
    X
    Xf
    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
    X
    X
    X
    Insurance Brokers Disputes Ltd
    Xg
    X
    Xh
    X
    Xi
    Insurance Enquiries and Complaints Ltd
    Migration Review Tribunal
    NSW Ombudsman
    Office of Industrial Relations
    Office of the Legal Services Commissioner
    X
    Private Health Insurance Ombudsman
    Refugee Review Tribunal
    Social Security Appeals Tribunal
    Superannuation Complaints Tribunal
    X
    X
    Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman
    Total
    4
    1
    7
    3
    1
    3
    1
    4
    5
    2
    1
    a  This information is reported in graphical form with no numbers or percentages listed, it is therefore not included in the demographic section of the report.
    b  Information is collected in relation to “party A” who is the first point of contact.
    c  Country of birth.
    d  Local court area (Not reported in the demographic section of report).
    e  Urban/rural.
    f  Listed by complaint or body referred to but not both.
    g  Inconsistent reporting over the three years. There are only 3 categories: 0–20, 30–50 and 70+.
    h  Metropolitan/country.
    i  Industry bodies only


    Age


    Table 73:  Percentage of complaints by age
    Health Care Complaints Commission, 2001/2002
    Age (years)
    Age specified
    %
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    0 – 15
    0.3
    1
    16 – 24
    3.3
    13
    25 – 34
    14.3
    57
    35 – 44
    24.8
    99
    45 – 59
    30.5
    122
    60+
    27
    108
    Total age specified
    100
    400
    15
    Age missing
    2 262
    85
    Total complaints
    2 662
    100
    Source:  HCCC Annual Report, 2001/2002.


    Table 74:  Percentage of complaints by age
    Insurance Brokers Dispute Facility, 2001 to 2002
    Age (years)
    Age specified
    %
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    0–20
    0.3
    0.5
    20-30
    9.7
    17
    30-50
    62
    108.5
    50-70
    26.6
    46.5
    70+
    1.4
    2.5
    Total age specified
    100
    175
    100
    Age missing
    -
    -
    Total complaints
    175
    100
    Source:  IBDF Annual Reports, 2001, 2002.


    Table 75:  Mean age of complainants
    Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Mean age
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    47.7
    Total age specified
    1 217
    66.6
    Age missing
    609
    33.4
    Total complaints
    1 826
    100
    Note:  29.7% of the complainants were 55+. No other information was provided in the Annual Reports.
    Source:  SCT Annual Reports, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002.


    Table 76:  Percentage of complaints by age
    Community Justice Centres, NSW, 2001/2002
    Age (years)
    Age specified
    %
    Annual
    No.
    % of total annual complaints
    0-19
    3.7
    265
    20-29
    12
    862
    30-39
    29.1
    2 086
    40-49
    27.3
    1 952
    50-59
    14.3
    1 021
    60-69
    8.7
    626
    70+
    4.9
    349
    Total age specified
    100
    7 161
    31.8
    Age missing (a)
    15 349
    68.2
    Total complaints
    22 510
    100
    a  Other and unknown categories are treated as missing data.
    Note:  Information is collected in relation to the first party to contact the CJC.
    Source:  CJC Annual Report, 2001/2002.

    Comment


    Ethnicity


    The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission and the Anti-Discrimination Board collected data on the ethnic background of the complainant (see Table 77). Community Justice Centres collected data on the country of birth of the first party to contact them (see Table 78) and the preferred language of the first party of contact (see Table 79 and Table 80).37

    Table 77:  Percentage of complaints by language backgrounda and agency
    AgencyYears
    Language background specified
    Language background
    missing
    Annual complaints
    NESB
    ESB
    Annual No.
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    Annual
    %
    %
    No.
    Anti-Discrimination Board1999/2000 to
    2001/2002
    41.3
    58.7
    491
    1 531
    75.7
    2 022
    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission2000/2001 to
    2001/2002
    35.3
    64.7
    1 194
    73
    5.8b
    1 267
    a  Data are based on the ethnic background of the complainant. A more precise definition for ethnic background was not available from the Annual Reports.
    b  The other 5.8 per cent for were categorised as ‘Indigenous Australian status’.
    Sources:  ADB and HREOC Annual Reports.


    Table 78:  Percentage of complaints by country of birth
    Community Justice Centres, NSW, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Country of birth
    Country of birth specified
    %
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    Englisha
    91.1
    Non-Englishb
    8.9
    Total country of birth specified
    100
    5 788
    23.6
    Country of birth missing
    18 692
    76.4
    Total complaints
    24 480
    100
    a  English country of birth includes Australia, England and New Zealand.
    b  Non-English country of birth includes Italy, Greece, Philippines, Lebanon, China, Germany, Macedonia, Vietnam and Fiji.
    Note:  Data are based on the country of birth of the first party to contact the CJC.
    Source:  CJC Annual Reports, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002.


    Table 79:  Percentage of complaints by preferred language
    Community Justice Centres, NSW, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Preferred language
    Language specified
    %
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    English
    94.5
    6 363
    Other
    5.5
    369
    Total language specified
    100
    6 732
    27.5
    Language missing
    -
    17 748
    72.5
    Total complaints
    -
    24 480
    100
    a  Data are based on the preferred language of the first party to contact the CJC.
    Source:  CJC Annual Reports, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002.


    Table 80:  Language spoken by service users whose preferred language is not English
    Community Justice Centres, NSW, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Language%
    Arabic
    10
    Greek
    9.6
    Spanish
    6.9
    Italian
    8.3
    Polish
    6
    Macedonian
    6.2
    Vietnamese
    5.3
    Cantonese
    4.7
    Croatian
    4.4
    Mandarin
    4.1
    Serbian
    3.9
    Maltese
    3
    Other
    27.6
    Total (%)
    100
    Total (No)
    369
    Note:  Language specified for 6732 (27.5%) of approaches. (See also Table 79).
    Source:  CJC Annual Reports, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002.

    Comment


    Indigenous Australian Status


    Table 81:  Percentage of complaints by Indigenous Australian status and agency
    Agency
    Years specified
    Indigenous status missing
    Indigenous status complaints
    Total complaints
    Indigenous
    %
    Non-Indigenous %
    Annual No.
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    Annual No.
    Anti-Discrimination Board
    1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    16.3a
    83.7
    586
    945
    61.7
    1 531
    Health Care Complaints Commission
    2001/2002
    2.1
    97.9
    663
    2 010
    75.2
    2 673
    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
    2000/2001 to 2001/2002
    5.8
    94.2
    1 267
    -
    -
    1 267
    a  In 2001/2002, 59 (49.6%) complaints were from Indigenous women, 57 (47.9%) complaints from Indigenous men and 3 (2.5%) complaints from Indigenous organisations. In the previous year Indigenous women made 47 (61%) complaints.
    Sources:  ADB, HCCC and HREOC Annual Reports, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002.

    Comment


    Disability


    Table 82:  Percentage of complaints by disability statusa
    Health Care Complaints Commission, NSW, 2001/2002
    Disability status
    Disability specified
    %
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    Disability
    23
    156
    Non-Disability
    77
    522
    Total disability specified
    100
    678
    25.5
    Disability missing
    1 984
    74.5
    Total complaints
    2 662
    100
    a  No definition of disability was provided in the Annual Report
    Source:  HCCC Annual Report, 2001/2002.


    Employment Status


    Table 83:  Percentage of complaints by employment status
    Community Justice Centres, NSW, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Employment status
    Employment status specified %
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    Full-time
    43.3
    2 886
    Benefits
    16.7
    1 097
    Home duties
    13.7
    911
    Part-time
    11
    734
    Retired
    11.7
    789
    Student
    3.7
    245
    Total employment specified
    100
    6 662
    27.2
    Employment status missinga
    17 818
    72.8
    Total complaints
    24 480
    100
    a  Other’ and ‘unknown’ categories are treated as missing data.
    Note:  Information is collected in relation to the first point of contact.
    Source:  CJC Annual Reports, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002.

    Comment


    Occupation


    Table 84:  Percentage of complaints by occupation
    Community Justice Centres, NSW, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Occupation status
    Occupation specified %
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    Clerical/sales/service
    38.3
    2 560
    Machine operator/labourer
    21
    1 403
    Managerial/professional
    17
    1 134
    Never worked
    8.1
    543
    Skilled tradesperson
    6.5
    434
    Para-professional
    5.2
    346
    Student
    3.8
    256
    Total occupation specified
    100
    6 843
    28
    Occupation missing
    17 637
    72
    Total
    24 480
    100
    Note:  Information is collected in relation to the first point of contact. ‘Other’ and ‘unknown’ categories are treated as missing data.
    Source:  CJC Annual Reports, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002.


    Region of Residence


    Table 85:  Percentage of complaints by region and agency
    Agency
    Years
    Region specified
    Region missing
    Total complaints
    Metro / Urban
    %
    Rural/Regional/
    Remote %
    Annual No.
    Annual No.
    % of total annual complaints
    Annual No.
    Insurance Brokers Dispute Facility (NSW)
    2000 to 2002
    63
    37
    54
    0
    -
    54
    Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW
    2001/2002
    64
    36
    4 908
    0
    -
    4 908
    Sources:  IBDF, EWO Annual Reports.

    Comment


    Pathways


    Very few of the 24 dispute resolution agencies examined published information on how service users found out about them (source of inquiry), or where users were referred if their problem could not be resolved (referral destination). Thus, as was the case with demographic characteristics of service users, it is difficult to build a reliable picture of source of inquiry and referral destination for these users. Nonetheless, the publicly available information on source of inquiry and referral destination are consolidated below.

    Five agencies published information on source of inquiry and two agencies published information on referral destination. Table 86 provides a summary of the major sources of inquiry and referral destinations for each agency.

    Table 86:  Top three sources of inquiry and referral destinations by agency
    AgencyYearsTop 3 sources of inquiry
    %
    Top 3 referral destinations
    %
    NSW Health Care Complaints Commission1999/2000 to 2001/2002Consumer
    Registration board
    Family/friend
    52.3
    19.9
    12.2
    Registration board
    Area Health Services
    Director General
    40.8
    38.2
    6.1
    Financial Industry Complaints Service2000 to 2001Media (incl. telephone book)
    Professional bodies
    Insurance company
    32.8
    26.7
    24.9
    Insurance Brokers Dispute Facility2000 to 2002Broker

    Telephone book

    Consumer advice
    65.7

    14.5

    11
    Insurance Enquiries & Complaints Limited
    Australian Securities & Investment Commission
    Financial Industry Complaints Servicea
    Community Justice Centres1999/2000 to 2001/2002Magistrates
    Chamber Magistrates
    Self
    20.6
    20.1
    13.9
    Office of the Legal Services
    Commissioner
    1999/2000 to 2001/2002Client
    Previous client
    Opposing client
    35.7
    18.6
    13.2
    a  The percentages referring to each destination were not provided.
    Sources:  HCCC, FICS, IBDF, CJC and OLSC Annual Reports.

    Comment


    Appendix 1: Data sources, legal assistance services


    This section gives a brief description of the legal assistance services covered in Section 1 and data they provided.

    Table 1-1:  Matrix of data collected by each service
    Organisation
    Area of law
    Age
    Region
    Gender
    Indigenous Australian
    Country of birth
    Source of income
    Disability
    Source of inquiry
    Referral destination
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES Advice only
    YES Advice only
    YES Advice only
    NO
    YES Advice only
    YES Information only
    Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    NO
    NO
    NO
    LawAccess NSW
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YESa
    NO
    NO
    NO
    NO
    YESb
    YES
    NSW Community Legal Centres
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES
    YES Advice only
    YES Advice only
    YES Advice only
    NO
    NO
    YES
    Chamber Magistrate Service
    YES
    NO
    YES
    NO
    NO
    NO
    NO
    NO
    NO
    NO
    a  LawAccess NSW gender data were not used due to an error in the data collection process for the period covered. This has been rectified for data collected after 2002.
    b  LawAccess NSW source of inquiry data were not used due to the high proportion of service users who found out about the service through the parent bodies of LawAccess—Legal Aid NSW and the NSW Law Society.

    Legal Aid
    http://www.legalaid.nsw.gov.au/lac.nsf/pages/aboutus

    Data

    Period Covered: 2000 to 2002
    Total number of inquiries: 611348

    Data were provided for information, advice and Duty Solicitor inquiries. Due to the overlap of services and clients, and variations in how the terms are defined, information and advice inquiries were grouped together as the Information/Advice Service. Where data is only collected for information or advice inquiries, Legal Aid NSW Information Service or Legal Aid NSW Advice Service is used. The Duty Solicitor Service was analysed separately, as it represents a different set of service users and legal problems. Duty Solicitor Service data were not analysed in relation to the types of legal matters of particular demographic groups, due to the high proportion of inquiries about Criminal Law.

    Information/Advice Service (367026 inquiries): Free telephone or in person information, advice or minor assistance. May include assistance with correspondence or making a phone call on behalf of a service user. The service is provided from the following locations: Legal Aid NSW Head Office, 19 regional offices, and outreach advice clinics in metropolitan and country centres. Information/Advice data also include telephone assistance from the Legal Aid helpline (until Oct 2001) and 5 specialist services—Mental Health Advocacy Service, Prisoners Legal Service, Veteran’s Advocacy Service, Child Support Service and the Legal Aid HotLine for Under 18s. Information/Advice does not include advice provided to a client on a Legal Aid grant. LawAccess NSW data were excluded as this service is reported separately.

    Duty Solicitor Service (244322 inquiries): Advice or representation for clients on their first appearance in one of the Local Courts distributed throughout NSW. Advice which does not relate to a court appearance that day is recorded as Advice and would be counted as part of the Information/Advice Service.

    Legal Aid NSW data relating to Cases (case grants and client representation) were not analysed as these were not regarded as an initial point of contact.

    Legal Aid NSW receives its income from the Commonwealth and NSW governments, the Public Purpose Fund of NSW and Legal Aid clients

    Role

    To assist socially and economically disadvantaged people understand and protect their legal rights. Services include free legal information, advice and minor assistance in all areas of law, grants of legal aid, a Duty Solicitor Service at Local Courts, alternative dispute resolution, a domestic violence court assistance program and community legal education programs.

    The data were received as cross-tabulations of legal matter by a number of requested variables for each calendar year. Table 1-2 shows the variables for which data were provided in each service type.

    Table 1-2:  Data received from Legal Aid NSW, by service type
    Variable
    Information
    Advice
    Duty
    Gender
    yes
    yes
    yes
    Age (grouped)
    no
    yes
    yes
    Indigenous Australians
    no
    yes
    yes
    Source of income
    no
    yes
    yes
    Country of birth
    no
    yes
    yes
    Postcode
    yes
    yes
    yes
    Source of referral
    no
    yes
    no
    Referral destination
    yes
    no
    no

    Phone/counter inquiries

    Many of the Information/Advice Service inquiries were simply classified as phone/counter inquiries within the major law categories of Family Criminal and Civil (there were only 140 phone/counter inquiries over the 3 years in the Duty Solicitor Service). These have been excluded from the analysis of legal matter because of the lack of detail and the potential lack of reliability about the classification of legal matter. The overall effect on the distribution of inquiries to the Information/Advice Service across each broad area of law that resulted from the removal of phone/counter inquiries is seen in Table 1-3.

    Table 1-3:  Distribution of inquiries including and excluding phone/counter inquiries by broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Phone/counter inquiries
    Family
    Crime
    Civil
    %
    %
    %
    With
    39.6
    26.1
    34.2
    Without
    38.9
    23.5
    37.6

    LawAccess NSW
    http://www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au

    Data

    Period covered: 2002
    Total number of inquiries: 61100

    Data include information and advice inquiries provided via the telephone service. Data were provided as unit records (with personal information excluded) in an Excel spreadsheet. The variables provided were: type of legal matter, gender,40 age, postcode, source of inquiry41 and referral destination.

    Some calls led to more than one problem. The analysis is of problems rather than calls. There were 60413 calls which resulted in 61100 problems. Because 98.95 per cent of calls (59779) resulted in only one problem, the problems can be assumed to be statistically independent.

    Role

    A free service providing a single point of access to legal and related assistance services in New South Wales. LawAccess NSW provides legal information, advice and referral services via a central call centre and the Internet. The service is available to anyone who has a legal problem in NSW. Priority for legal advice is given to customers with urgent inquiries, with disabilities, from non-English speaking backgrounds and/or from rural and regional areas.

    LawAccess NSW was established in September 2001 as a result of the amalgamation of the Legal Aid Commission of NSW ‘Legal HelpLine’ and Law Society of NSW ‘Community Assistance Department’.

    LawAccess NSW is funded by the New South Wales government and the Public Purpose Fund of New South Wales.

    NSW Community Legal Centres
    http://www.naclc.org.au

    Data

    Period covered: 1999 to 2002
    Total number of inquiries: 380619

    Data include activity in the following areas: Information, Advice, and Case. These were not provided as separate variables and are reported together.

    Only NSW Generalist and Specialist Community Legal Centres funded by the Commonwealth Government were included, as listed in Table 1-4.42

    Table 1-4:  Specialist and Generalist Community Legal Centres in NSW for which data were provided
    GeneralistAlbury Wodonga, Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Far West, Kingsford, Hawkesbury/Nepean, Hunter, Illawarra, Inner City, Macarthur, Macquarie, Marrickville, Mt Druitt, North and North West, Northern Rivers, Redfern, Shoalcoast, South West Sydney, Western NSW.
    SpecialistAged-Care Rights Service, Consumer Credit Legal Centre, Environmental Defenders Office, Disability Rights Service, HIV/Aids Legal Centre, Immigration Advice and Rights Centre, Public Interest Advocacy Centre, National Children's and Youth Law Centre, Tenants' Union of NSW, Welfare Rights Centre, Women's Legal Resources Centre.

    Data were provided as Excel spreadsheets for the following variables cross-tabulated with legal matter for each calendar year: gender, age,43 country of birth, Indigenous Australian status, source of income, postcode, source of inquiry and referral destination.

    A number of the demographic variables had a large proportion of missing values. Information about age, country of birth or Indigenous status is not collected for information inquiries and for some telephone advice inquiries. Collection of information about source of income is optional. As missing values were not randomly distributed across year and broad area of law, a weighting process was used to adjust the missing values to reflect this distribution. See Appendix 4 for details on how this was done.

    Data for referral and problem types count each problem type within each service user matter. Thus, the numbers represent the count of all problem types (up to 4, minimum of 1) within all matters which had some activity within the nominated period.

    Chamber Magistrate Service
    http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/locations/locnsw.nsf/pages/nswmap/

    Data

    Period covered: 1999 to 2001
    Total number of inquiries: 447080

    The data were provided as a cross tabulated Excel spreadsheet and included the variables area of law, Local Court and year.

    The type of legal matter was only provided at the broad level of family, domestic violence and other. Hence further analysis could not be carried out on the nature of legal matters.

    Chamber Magistrate regions were converted into Australian Bureau of Statistics statistical divisions and subdivisions. The process for determining statistical division was to find the postcode of the courthouse, then to determine the statistical division. This could only be done approximately. It was assumed that an inquirer resided in the same statistical division as the location of the courthouse where they made their inquiry. This assumption is likely to be false for a number of inquiries in the Sydney region and for some inquiries to country courthouses located close to statistical division boundaries.

    Role

    The Chamber Magistrate Service provides information to members of the public on basic legal problems and the options available to assist them. The Chamber Magistrate Service is available to provide guidance on Court processes and procedures, and to assist the public in the drafting of legal documents used in cases before the Local Court. The Chamber Magistrate does not represent clients in court and cannot determine cases. Anybody is able to use the service.

    Chamber Magistrate Services are provided at over 160 Local Courts across NSW on a face-to-face basis or via the telephone. In addition, a number of Chamber Magistrates offer an outreach service within the community in order to provide assistance to those who may not be able to attend the court. In smaller Courts, the Chamber Magistrate Service is often provided by the Clerk of the Court.

    The Chamber Magistrate Service is funded by the NSW Attorney-General’s Department.


    Appendix 2: Additional services


    Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC)

    http://liac.sl.nsw.gov.au

    Data

    Data were collected via a survey of State Library LIAC clients for the period 1996 to 2002. Over that period, methodologies, including questionnaire content, have been reviewed and changed. Due to sample sizes and response rates, caution must be exercised in analysing trends in the data.

    The aim of the survey is to build profiles of current LIAC clients, including their usage of LIAC, as well as to measure client satisfaction with the service provided. The client survey is conducted at different times over the year, to ensure representation of different client groups. During the survey period, a self-completing questionnaire is distributed to all visitors to the Centre, as well as those who contact LIAC by telephone, letter, fax or email.

    The sample sizes are: 301 (1996); 206 (1998); 238 (2002). The total number of service users of the State Library LIAC during the period 1996/97 to 2002/03 was 122167.

    Data were provided for the following variables: legal matter, gender, age, Indigenous Australian status and language.

    Data were provided as tables in a Word document. As a result, data could not be mapped to Law and Justice Foundation categories, nor could variables be cross-tabulated.

    Approximately 50 per cent of those answering the survey were using LIAC for study.

    Role

    Trained staff of the Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) at the State Library of NSW and in public libraries across New South Wales, assist the public to access authoritative, up-to-date information and sources of legal assistance relevant to their needs. The State Library LIAC has a comprehensive range of legal information resources and specialist staff. All public libraries in NSW have plain language legal information.

    Legal matter

    Table 2-1:  Percentage of inquiries by area of lawa
    Legal Information Access Centre, NSW, 2002b
    Area of law
    Inquiries
    BroadSpecific
    %
    Family Total Family
    13
    CrimeTotal Crime
    23
    CivilHousing
    5
    Workplace/Employment law
    10
    Environmental/Planning law
    6
    Court/Parliamentary procedure
    5
    Business/Commercial
    10
    Immigration
    4
    Other
    33
    Total Civil
    73
    Total (%)
    109c
    Total (No.)
    238
    a  The area of law has not been mapped to Law and Justice Foundation categories.
    b  Data were only available for 2002.
    c  This question allows for multiple responses. A client inquiry may involve more than one subject category, leading to a total of more than 100 per cent.
    Source: Legal Information Access Centre (unpublished data).

    Gender

    Table 2-2:  Percentage of inquiries by gender
    Legal Information Access Centre, NSW, 1996-2002
    Gender
    1996
    1998
    2002
    All
    NSW pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    Male
    49
    44
    48
    47
    96
    49
    Female
    51
    56
    51
    53
    104
    51
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    99a
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    301
    206
    238
    745
    a  Information about gender was missing for 1 per cent of the data.
    Note:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Source:  Legal Information Access Centre (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Age

    Table 2-3:  Age group by year
    Legal Information Access Centre, NSW, 1996-2002
    Age
    1996
    1998
    2002
    All
    NSW pop'n
    (years)
    %
    %
    %
    %
    IC
    %
    Under 18
    17
    3
    15
    12
    48
    25
    18-24
    23
    35
    24
    27
    300
    9
    25-34
    19
    17
    16
    17
    113
    15
    35-44
    13
    17
    10
    13
    87
    15
    45-54
    11
    11
    16
    13
    93
    14
    55 & over
    17
    17
    18
    17
    77
    22
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    99a
    99a
    Total (No.)
    301
    206
    238
    745
    a  Information about age was missing for 1 per cent of the data.
    Note:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Source:   Legal Information Access Centre (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Language spoken at home

    Table 2-4:  Language spoken at home by year
    Legal Information Access Centre, NSW, 1996-2002
    Language spoken at home
    1996
    1998
    2002
    All
    NSW pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    %
    %
    English
    85
    70
    80
    78
    75a
    Other
    15
    30
    20
    22
    25
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    301
    206
    238
    745
    6 371 745
    a  Speaks English only.
    Source:  Legal Information Access Centre (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Indigenous Australian status

    Table 2-5:  Indigenous Australian status by year
    Legal Information Access Centre, NSW, 1996-2002
    Indigenous Australian
    1996
    1998
    2002
    All
    % of NSW pop'n
    %
    %
    %
    Yes
    1
    0
    2
    1
    1.9
    No
    99
    100
    98
    99
    98.1
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    301
    206
    238
    745
    6 371 745
    Source:  Legal Information Access Centre (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Women's Information and Referral Service (WIRS)

    http://www.women.nsw.gov.au/referral/refhome2.html

    Data

    The data include inquiries about legal matters from 4/12/00 to 28/6/02. Approximately 25 per cent of calls to WIRS were classified as legal during this period.

    The total number of records was 1908.

    The variables collected include age, culture, how found, and description of the call. These were provided in an Excel spreadsheet and were mapped to Law and Justice Foundation categories, as described in Appendix 3.

    Data on the gender of the caller were not collected. It could be assumed that a large proportion of the inquirers were either women or calling on behalf of women.

    Role

    The Women's Information and Referral Service is a service of the NSW Department for Women. It provides a first stop telephone contact point for women seeking up-to-date and accurate referral information about organisations and services for women in New South Wales. The focus is on women with limited access to social and economic resources. Information and referral are provided on a range of issues, including legal issues. Specialist services include an Indigenous Australian information officer and Mandarin, Cantonese and Malay speaking information officers. Anyone may use the service.

    Legal matter

    Table 2-6:  Percentage of inquiries by area of law
    Women's Information and Referral Service, 4/12/00 to 28/6/02
    Area of law
    %
    BroadSpecific
    FamilyFamily law
    68.7
    CrimeCrime
    3.3
    Domestic violence
    10.5
    CivilBusiness/Media
    0.2
    Consumers
    1.4
    Credit/Debt
    3.2
    Employment
    2
    Government/ Legal system
    4
    Health/Human rights
    1.3
    Housing
    3.2
    Motor vehicles
    0.8
    Personal injury
    0.3
    Wills/Estates
    1.1
    Total (%)
    100
    Total (No.)
    1 476

    Comment
    Age

    Table 2-7:  Percentage of inquiries by age group
    Women’s Information and Referral Service, NSW 4/12/00 to 28/6/02
    Ages (years)
    %
    IC
    NSW women pop’n %
    Under 15
    0.1
    0.4
    20.6
    15 to 17
    0.5
    11
    4.2
    18 to 24
    5.4
    58
    9.2
    25 to 34
    30.8
    212
    14.5
    35 to 44
    35.3
    230
    15.3
    45 to 54
    18.4
    136
    13.5
    55 to 64
    7.5
    82
    9.1
    65 and over
    2
    15
    13.2
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    1 524
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about age was missing for an additional 384 (20%) of inquiries.
    Source:  Women’s Information and Referral Service (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Age: Legal matter

    Table 2-8:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
    Women's Information and Referral Service, NSW, 4/12/00 to 28/6/02
    Age
    Family
    Crime
    Domestic violence
    Civil
    Total
    (years)
    %
    %
    %
    %
    %
    Under 25
    63.8
    5.8
    7.2
    23.2
    100
    25 to 34
    74.1
    3.8
    10.5
    11.6
    100
    35 to 44
    69.6
    4.7
    12.5
    13.2
    100
    45 to 54
    70.2
    4.1
    9.2
    16.5
    100
    55 to 64
    53.1
    3.1
    20.8
    22.9
    100
    65 and over
    37
    7.4
    55.6
    100
    a  Numbers were not sufficient to break down Civil Law inquiries to a greater level of detail.
    Note:  N = 1205. Information about age or area of law was missing for an additional 703 (37%) inquiries.
    Source:  Women's Information and Referral Service (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Country of birth

    Table 2-9:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth
    Women's Information and Referral Service, NSW, 4/12/00 to 28/6/02
    Country of birth
    Inquiries
    %
    IC
    NSW female pop'n %
    Born in AustraliaTotal born in Australia
    77.5
    102
    75.4
    Born outside AustraliaaNew Zealand/Pacific Islands
    2
    76
    2.6
    North America
    0.8
    160
    0.5
    Asia
    5.8
    74
    7.8
    Europe (includes UK)
    10.2
    99
    10.3
    Middle East
    2
    117
    1.7
    Africa
    0.6
    54
    1.1
    South/Central America
    1.1
    157
    0.7
    Total born outside Australia
    22.5
    91
    24.6
    Total (%)
    100
    Total (No.)
    1 877
    a  It was not possible to separate the countries into English speaking and non-English speaking, as Europe and the United Kingdom were grouped together.
    Notes:  Shaded areas indicate that the IC is greater than 100.
    Information about country of birth was missing for an additional 31 (1.6%) inquiries.
    Source:  Women’s Information and Referral Service (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Country of birth: Legal matter

    Table 2-10:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and broad area of law
    Women’s Information and Referral Service, NSW, 4/12/00 to 28/6/02
    Country of birth
    Family
    %
    Crime
    %
    Domestic violence %
    Civil
    %
    Total
    %
    Australia
    70.6
    4.1
    9.3
    16
    100
    Outside Australia
    63.9
    2.8
    14.5
    18.8
    100
    All
    69
    3.8
    10.5
    16.6
    100
    Note:  N = 1461. Information about country of birth and area of law was missing for an additional 447 (23%) inquiries.
    Source:  Women’s Information and Referral Service (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Source of inquiry

    Table 2-11:  Source of inquiry
    Women's Information and Referral Service, NSW, 4/12/00 to 28/6/02
    How found
    Inquiries %
    Already knew about
    10.1
    Friend/Family
    6.6
    Health professional
    0.1
    Media
    0.5
    Telephone book
    68.5
    Publication
    4
    Internet
    0.7
    Community organisation
    3.3
    Local council
    0.4
    Government
    4.5
    Other
    1.3
    Total (%)
    100
    Total (No.)
    200
    Note:  Information about source of inquiry was missing for an additional 34 (2%) inquiries.
    Source:  Women’s Information and Referral Service NSW (unpublished data).

    Comment
    Country of birth: Source of inquiry

    Table 2-12:  Country of birth by source of inquiry
    Women's Information and Referral Service, NSW, 4/12/00 to 28/6/02
    Source of inquiry
    Australia %
    Overseas %
    Total %
    Already knew about
    9.4
    11.2
    9.8
    Friend / family
    6.2
    7.9
    6.6
    Media
    0.4
    0.7
    0.5
    Telephone book
    72
    58.1
    68.9
    Publication
    3.5
    5.7
    4
    Internet
    0.6
    1.2
    0.8
    Health professional
    0.1
    0
    0.1
    Community organisation
    2.5
    5.7
    3.2
    Local council
    0.3
    0.7
    0.4
    Government
    4
    6.2
    4.5
    Other
    0.9
    2.6
    1.3
    Total (%)
    99.9
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    1 441
    420
    1 861
    Note:  Information about how inquirers found out about the service was missing for an additional 47 (3%) inquiries.
    Source:  Women’s Information and Referral Service (unpublished data).

    Comment


    Appendix 3: Region of residence classification scheme


    Where postcode data were available, postcodes were mapped to Australian Bureau of Statistics regions. These are based on the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC).44 The ASGC has four hierarchical levels: We have reported at the level of Statistical Divisions (SD) for non-Sydney regions and Statistical Subdivisions (SSD) for metropolitan Sydney as shown in Figure 3-1 and Figure 3-2. This is in accordance with the practice of the NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research.

    As one postcode may belong in more than one subdivision inquiries have been randomly allocated based on the weighting accorded to the postcodes. This information about postcode distribution comes from the Postal Area To Statistical Local Area 2001 Concordance.45

    Population percentages were calculated using 2001 Census data.46

    A number of postcodes could be identified as those for ‘large volume recipients’. These, together with the CBD postcodes (1003, 1010, 1172, 1208, 1300, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2013, 2020), were formed into a group called ‘Business’. This group has been excluded from analysis. This affected the Inner Sydney Statistical Subdivision in particular. The rest of Inner Sydney was mapped to the Inner Sydney Statistical Subdivision.

    Inquiries from outside NSW (including the ACT) have been excluded from the analysis.

    Figure 3-1:  New South Wales Statistical Division boundaries


    Figure 3-2:  Sydney Statistical Subdivision boundaries


    Table 3-1:  NSW Statistical Divisions
    HunterIllawarraRichmond–TweedMid-North Coast
    CessnockKiamaBallina Bellingen
    DungogShellharbourByron Coffs Harbour
    GloucesterShoalhavenKyogleCopmanhurst
    Great LakesWingecarribeeLismoreGrafton
    Lake MacquarieWollongongRichmond ValleyGreater Taree
    MaitlandTweedHastings
    MerriwaKempsey
    MurrurundiLord Howe Island
    MuswellbrookMaclean
    NewcastleNambucca
    Port StephensPristine Waters
    Scone
    Singleton
    NorthernNorth WesternCentral WestSouth Eastern
    Armidale DumaresqBoganBathurstBega Valley
    BarrabaBourkeBlandBombala
    BingaraBrewarrinaBlayneyBoorowa
    Glen InnesCobarCabonneCooma-Monaro
    GunnedahCoolahCowra Crookwell
    GuyraCoonabarabranEvansEurobodalla
    InverellCoonambleForbesGoulburn
    ManillaDubboGreater LithgowGunning
    Moree PlainsGilgandraLachlanHarden
    NarrabriMudgee OberonMulwaree
    NundleNarromineOrangeQueanbeyan
    Parry WalgettParkesSnowy River
    Quirindi WarrenRylstoneTallaganda
    Severn WellingtonWeddinYarrowlumla
    Tamworth Yass
    Tenterfield Young
    Uralla
    Walcha
    Yallaroi
    MurrumbidgeeMurrayFar West
    Carrathool AlburyBroken Hill
    Coolamon BalranaldCentral Darling
    Cootamundra BerriganUnincorporated Far West
    Griffith Conargo
    Gundagai Corowa
    Hay Culcairn
    Junee Deniliquin
    Leeton Holbrook
    Lockhart Hume
    Murrumbidgee Jerilderie
    Narrandera Murray
    Temora Tumbarumba
    Tumut Urana
    Wagga WaggaWakool
    Wentworth
    Windouran

    Table 3-2:  Sydney Statistical Subdivisions
    Inner SydneyOuter South Western SydneyLower Northern Sydney
    Botany BayCamdenHunters Hill
    LeichhardtCampbelltownLane Cove
    MarrickvilleWollondillyMosman
    South SydneyNorth Sydney
    SydneyRyde
    Willoughby
    Eastern SuburbsInner Western SydneyCentral Northern Sydney
    RandwickAshfieldBaulkham Hills
    WaverleyBurwoodHornsby
    WoollahraConcordKu-ring-gai
    Drummoyne
    Strathfield
    St George–SutherlandCentral Western SydneyNorthern Beaches
    HurstvilleAuburnManly
    KogarahHolroydPittwater
    RockdaleParramattaWarringah
    Sutherland
    Canterbury–BankstownOuter Western SydneyGosford–Wyong
    BankstownBlue MountainsGosford
    CanterburyHawkesburyWyong
    Penrith
    Fairfield–LiverpoolBlacktown
    FairfieldBlacktown
    Liverpool


    Appendix 4: Data analysis methods


    Index of concentration (IC)

    For each demographic variable (e.g. gender), an IC was calculated for each demographic group within that variable (e.g. men and women).47 For each demographic group, the IC was calculated by dividing the proportion of inquiries from that demographic group by the proportion of that group in the NSW population according to the 2001 census,48 and multiplying the result by 100. The following example illustrates the calculation process.

    IC for men and IC for women for inquiries to the NSW Legal Aid Information/Advice Service
    Proportion of inquiries from men ÷ Proportion of men in NSW * 100 = Index of concentration for men
    45.6 / 49.4 * 100 = 92

    Proportion of inquiries from women ÷ Proportion of women in NSW * 100 = Index of concentration for women
    54.4 / 50.6 * 100 = 107

    The IC for women (107), which is greater than 100, indicates that women accounted for a higher proportion of inquiries than would be expected given their proportion in the NSW population. The corresponding IC for men (92), which is under 100, indicates that men made fewer inquiries than would be expected based on their proportion of the NSW population.

    Chi-square test

    The chi-square test is a non-parametric test that examines whether there is a significant relationship between two or more categorical variables with data in terms of frequencies. The chi-square test is based on a cross-tabulation of the relevant variables and compares the observed frequencies in each cell of the cross-tabulation with the frequencies expected on the basis of the null hypothesis.49 All of the chi-square tests in the present report were two-way, that is, conducted between two variables.

    The chi-square test determines whether the relationship between the variables is significant. To determine which cells in the cross-tabulation had higher than expected frequencies, the standard residual for each cell was examined. The standard residual is the difference between the observed and expected frequency, adjusted for the scale effect of the frequencies. Cells with a standard residual greater than or equal to two were deemed to be significantly ‘higher than expected’, and are reported in the text.

    Adjusting for missing values

    For any variable (for a given service) with missing values for more than 10 per cent of inquiries, the following process was undertaken to decide whether to use a weighting process before presenting descriptive statistics (e.g. percentages) and conducting the chi-square tests involving that variable.

    The distribution of missing values for the variable in question was compared to the distribution of valid values for the variable across both years and broad areas of law. If the distribution of missing values was similar to the distribution of valid values across both years and broad areas of law,50 the original frequencies for the variable were used in all analyses. If, however, these distributions differed,51 adjusted frequencies for the variable were used in all relevant analyses (e.g. percentages and chi-square tests).

    The adjusted frequency in each case (e.g. in each cell of the chi-square cross-tabulation) was calculated as follows:

    Adjusted frequency = original frequency * total no. of inquiries / no. of inquiries with valid values

    Adjusted frequencies were used in the analyses for NSW Community Legal Centres involving age, income, country of birth or Indigenous Australian status, and for Legal Aid NSW involving source of income. In all other cases, original frequencies were used in the analyses. Note that, even in the cases where adjusted frequencies were used, the number of inquiries with valid values is still shown at the bottom of the relevant tables/figures.


    Appendix 5: Tables - legal assistance services


    Table 5-1:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Area of law
    Male
    Female
    BroadSpecific
    %
    %
    FamilyTotal Family
    24.8
    50.6
    CrimeGeneral crime
    27.9
    9.1
    Domestic violence
    2.4
    2.3
    Traffic offences
    5.4
    2
    Total Crime
    35.7
    13.4
    CivilBusiness/Media
    0.9
    0.8
    Consumers
    2
    1.9
    Credit/Debt
    5
    5
    Employment
    3
    2.5
    Government/Legal system
    10.1
    5.3
    Health/Human rights
    1.6
    1.6
    Housing
    2.8
    3.6
    Motor vehicles
    2.3
    2
    Personal injury
    1.2
    1.7
    Wills/Estates
    1.8
    3.4
    Other (civil)
    8.6
    8.3
    Total Civil
    39.5
    36
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    100 308
    121 363
    Notes:  N = 221671. Information about gender was missing for an additional 393 (0.1%) inquiries.
    Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-2:  Percentage of inquiries by gender and area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Area of law
    Male
    Female
    BroadSpecific
    %
    %
    FamilyAll Family
    16.1
    34.5
    CrimeGeneral crime
    6.6
    4.7
    Domestic violence
    2
    7.5
    Traffic offences
    2.9
    0.9
    All Crime
    11.5
    13.1
    CivilBusiness/Media
    0.9
    0.6
    Consumers
    5.6
    4
    Credit/Debt
    6.9
    5
    Employment
    6.2
    3.4
    Government/Legal system
    28.9
    17.9
    Health/Human rights
    3.4
    2.7
    Housing
    10.2
    9.1
    Motor vehicles
    2.7
    1.4
    Personal Injury
    0.5
    0.6
    Wills/Estates
    1.8
    2.1
    Civil-other
    5.1
    5.6
    All Civil
    72.3
    52.4
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    128 712
    232 684
    Notes:  N = 361396. Information about gender was missing for an additional 19422 (5.1%) inquiries.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Table 5-3:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Age (years)
    Family %
    Crime %
    Civil %
    Total %
    0 to 14
    14.3
    54.7
    31
    100
    15 to 17
    2.2
    94.2
    3.6
    100
    18 to 24
    25.6
    56.7
    17.7
    100
    25 to 34
    54.6
    23.6
    21.8
    100
    35 to 44
    57.5
    17
    25.5
    100
    45 to 54
    46.6
    14.3
    39.1
    100
    55 to 64
    30.7
    12.1
    57.2
    100
    65 to 74
    22.2
    9.9
    67.9
    100
    75 and over
    7.5
    7.6
    84.9
    100
    All
    43.1
    26.8
    30.1
    100
    Notes:  N = 122651. Information about age was missing for an additional 865 (0.7%) inquiries for the Advice Service.
    Age was not collected for 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
    Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-4:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
    LawAccess NSW, 2002
    Age (years)
    Family %
    Crime %
    Civil %
    Total %
    Under 25
    26.2
    26.9
    47
    100
    25 to 34
    22.9
    17.3
    59.8
    100
    35 to 44
    32
    14.8
    53.1
    100
    45 to 54
    22.2
    14.8
    63
    100
    55 to 64
    17.5
    12.8
    69.8
    100
    65 and over
    11.9
    8.5
    79.6
    100
    Notes:  N = 11093. Information about age was missing for an additional 50007 (81.8%) inquiries.
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-5:  Percentage of inquiries by age group and broad area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Age (years)
    Family %
    Crime %
    Civil %
    Total %
    0 to 17
    10.5
    19.7
    69.8
    100
    18 to 20
    11.5
    31.4
    57.1
    100
    21 to 30
    25.7
    16.8
    57.4
    100
    31 to 40
    36
    12.7
    51.4
    100
    41 to 50
    33.2
    11.9
    54.9
    100
    51 to 65
    20
    10
    70.1
    100
    66 & over
    7.1
    4.8
    88.1
    100
    Notes:  N = 379481. Information about age was missing for 208715 (55%) inquiries (age was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Age groups are those provided by the National Information Service. They do not correspond to the groupings used for other services.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Table 5-6:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Country of Birth
    Family %
    Crime %
    Civil %
    Total %
    English speakingAustralia
    45
    30.7
    24.4
    100
    New Zealand
    44.8
    36.8
    18.4
    100
    United Kingdom/Ireland
    49
    19.8
    31.2
    100
    North America
    52.8
    20.8
    26.4
    100
    Total English speaking
    45.2
    30.4
    24.5
    100
    Non-English speakingaPacific Islands
    40.2
    32.6
    27.2
    100
    Asia
    40.7
    17.6
    41.7
    100
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    36.8
    18.9
    44.2
    100
    North Africa/Middle East
    37.4
    18.1
    44.5
    100
    South/Central America
    45.6
    15.4
    38.9
    100
    Europe
    36.7
    17.1
    46.1
    100
    Total non-English speaking
    39.2
    18.8
    42
    100
    All
    43.6
    27.4
    29
    100
    a  Includes South Africa.
    Notes:  N = 77043. Infomration about country of birth was missing for an additional 46519 (38%) inquiries for the Advice
    Service. The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4. Country of birth was not collected for the 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
    Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-7:  Percentage of inquiries by country of birth and broad area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Country of birth
    Family %
    Crime %
    Civil %
    Total %
    English speakingAustralia
    31.9
    14.8
    53.3
    100
    New Zealand
    26.9
    14.1
    59
    100
    United Kingdom/Ireland
    26.8
    9.2
    64.1
    100
    North America
    18.9
    7.4
    73.6
    100
    Total English speaking
    31.2
    14.3
    54.4
    100
    Non-English speakingaPacific Islands
    19.8
    9.5
    70.7
    100
    East Asia
    18.9
    8.6
    72.5
    100
    South/Central Asia
    12.1
    4.6
    83.3
    100
    Sub-Saharan Africa
    15.8
    7.5
    76.7
    100
    North Africa/Middle East
    17.1
    8
    74.9
    100
    South/Central America
    20.2
    7.7
    72.1
    100
    Europe
    18.4
    9.7
    71.9
    100
    Total non-English speaking
    17.9
    8.3
    73.8
    100
    All
    27.5
    12.7
    59.9
    100
    a  Includes South Africa
    Notes:  N = 380619. Information about country of birth was missing for 162112 (43%) inquiries (country of birth was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Table 5-8:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous status and area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Area of law
    Indigenous Australians
    Non Indigenous Australians
    All
    BroadSpecific
    %
    %
    %
    FamilyTotal Family
    30.9
    43.2
    42.9
    CrimeGeneral crime
    36.1
    21.8
    22.1
    Domestic violence
    1.6
    1.7
    1.7
    Traffic offences
    1.8
    3
    3
    Total Crime
    39.6
    26.5
    26.8
    CivilBusiness/Media
    0.6
    0.6
    0.6
    Consumers
    2.4
    1.6
    1.6
    Credit/Debt
    2.7
    3.1
    3.1
    Employment
    1.6
    1.6
    1.6
    Government/Legal system
    8.4
    8.8
    8.8
    Health/Human rights
    1.6
    1.1
    1.2
    Housing
    1.6
    2.2
    2.2
    Motor vehicles
    1.2
    1.7
    1.7
    Personal injury
    2.6
    1.1
    1.2
    Wills/Estates
    1.4
    1.4
    1.4
    Civil-other
    5.3
    7
    6.9
    Total Civil
    29.5
    30.3
    30.3
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    Notes:  N = 123562. Information about Indigenous status was missing for an additional 15683 (11%) inquiries for
    the Advice Service. Indigenous status was not collected for 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-9:  Percentage of inquiries by Indigenous status and area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Area of law
    Indigenous Australians
    Non Indigenous Australians
    All
    BroadSpecific
    %
    %
    %
    FamilyTotal Family
    36.7
    34.4
    34.5
    CrimeGeneral crime
    11.8
    5.7
    6
    Domestic violence
    11.4
    7.2
    7.4
    Traffic offences
    1.4
    1.8
    1.7
    Total Crime
    24.6
    14.6
    15.1
    CivilBusiness/Media
    0.6
    0.5
    0.5
    Consumers
    3.3
    4.7
    4.6
    Credit/Debt
    6.2
    6.5
    6.5
    Employment
    4
    4.2
    4.2
    Government/Legal system
    9.6
    18.2
    17.8
    Health/Human rights
    4.7
    2.6
    2.8
    Housing
    4.8
    7.8
    7.6
    Motor vehicles
    1.3
    2.1
    2.1
    Personal injury
    0.9
    0.7
    0.7
    Wills/Estates
    1.4
    2.1
    2
    Civil-other
    1.8
    1.5
    1.6
    Total Civil
    38.7
    51
    50.4
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    10 061
    191 324
    201 385
    Note:  Information about Indigenous status was missing for 179234 (47%) inquiries (Indigenous status was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Table 5-10:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Area of lawSource of income
    BroadSpecific
    No income %
    Government benefits %
    Paid employment %
    FamilyTotal Family
    7.6
    33.6
    62.4
    CrimeGeneral crime
    7.8
    29.1
    8.5
    Domestic violence
    0.6
    1.7
    1.7
    Traffic offences
    0.5
    3.8
    1.6
    Total Crime
    8.9
    34.7
    11.8
    CivilBusiness/Media
    0.6
    0.7
    0.5
    Consumers
    1.5
    1.6
    1.6
    Credit/Debt
    3.9
    3
    3.3
    Employment
    0.6
    2.1
    0.7
    Government/Legal system
    61.9
    10.5
    3.6
    Health/Human rights
    0.3
    0.9
    1.8
    Housing
    2.6
    2
    2.7
    Motor vehicles
    0.8
    1.7
    1.5
    Personal injury
    1.2
    1.1
    1.4
    Wills/Estates
    3.6
    1.2
    1.7
    Other (Civil)
    6.6
    6.9
    6.9
    Total Civil
    83.5
    31.7
    25.8
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    1 264
    81 332
    40 965
    Notes:  N = 123561. Information about source of income was missing for an additional 38304 (31%) inquiries. The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4. Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-11:  Percentage of inquiries by source of income and area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2002
    Area of lawSource of income
    BroadSpecific
    No income %
    Government benefits %
    Employed
    (PT) %
    Employed (Self / temp)%
    Employed (Full time) %
    All %
    FamilyTotal Family
    24.5
    35.7
    42.2
    26.6
    32.4
    34.6
    CrimeGeneral crime
    7.3
    6.6
    4.8
    4.1
    4
    5.9
    Domestic violence
    4.7
    8.2
    7
    3.7
    5.3
    7.1
    Traffic offences
    1.6
    1.6
    2
    2.2
    2.1
    1.7
    Total Crime
    13.6
    16.3
    13.9
    10
    11.4
    14.7
    CivilBusiness/media
    0.4
    0.5
    0.6
    1.5
    0.4
    0.5
    Consumers
    2.7
    4.4
    4.9
    14.5
    7.4
    5.2
    Credit/Debt
    3.6
    7.7
    6.4
    13.4
    7.8
    7.4
    Employment
    8.1
    2.1
    5.3
    4.5
    6.9
    4
    Government/Legal system
    36.7
    14
    13
    12.3
    15.3
    16.1
    Health/Human rights
    3.3
    3
    2.5
    2.1
    3
    2.9
    Housing
    2.7
    4.4
    5.2
    8.4
    9.7
    5.5
    Motor vehicles
    1.5
    2
    2.6
    2.2
    2.5
    2.1
    Personal Injury
    0.6
    0.8
    0.6
    0.3
    0.5
    0.7
    Wills/Estates
    1.1
    2.5
    1.7
    1.8
    1.5
    2.1
    Civil-other
    1.2
    6.5
    1.3
    2.3
    1.3
    4.4
    Total Civil
    61.9
    47.9
    43.9
    63.4
    56.2
    50.7
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    17 361
    113 380
    22 463
    6 022
    35 419
    194 645
    Note:  Information about source of income was missing for 185974 (49%) inquiries (source of income was not collected for information and some telephone advice inquiries). The data have been adjusted to take this into account as outlined in Appendix 4.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Table 5-12:  Source of inquiry
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Source of inquiry
    2000 %
    2001 %
    2002 %
    All %
    Non-legalFriend/Family
    35.3
    36.9
    33.3
    35.2
    Media
    4.7
    4.1
    3.2
    4
    Telephone book
    15.5
    14.5
    6.5
    12.2
    Publication
    2.2
    1.8
    0.7
    1.6
    Community organisation
    6.2
    4.6
    3.2
    4.7
    Government
    9.8
    9.9
    10.8
    10.2
    Police
    8.3
    13.4
    29.7
    17.1
    Total non-legal
    82
    85.2
    87.4
    85
    Legal Community legal centre
    2.3
    2.1
    1.5
    2
    LawAccess/Legal Aid helpline
    4
    2.3
    1.2
    2.6
    Solicitor
    3.2
    2.8
    2.3
    2.8
    Court
    8.4
    7.5
    7.5
    7.8
    Total legal
    17.9
    14.7
    12.5
    15
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    16 773
    15 886
    16 228
    48 887
    Notes:  Source of inquiry was not collected for an additional 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
    In 65% of inquiries, the source of inquiry was recorded as ‘Other’. These have been excluded from the analysis.
    LawAccess NSW took over from the Legal Aid NSW helpline in October 2001.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-13:  Source of inquiry by broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Advice Service, 2000-2002
    Source of inquiry
    Family %
    Crime %
    Civil %
    Total %
    Non-legalFriend/Family
    52.9
    11.6
    35.5
    100
    Media
    53.4
    8.2
    38.4
    100
    Phone book
    42.2
    11.4
    46.5
    100
    Publication
    41.2
    31.5
    27.3
    100
    Community organisation
    51.3
    16.2
    32.5
    100
    Government
    89.6
    1.2
    9.2
    100
    Police
    6.2
    90.7
    3
    100
    LegalCommunity legal centre
    53.8
    7.9
    38.3
    100
    LawAccess/Legal Aid helpline
    40.1
    25.1
    34.8
    100
    Solicitor
    56.8
    10.5
    32.7
    100
    Court
    67
    15.6
    17.4
    100
    All (%)
    48
    24.9
    27
    100
    Total (No.)
    23 477
    12 197
    13 212
    48 887
    Notes:  Source of inquiry was not available for an additional 227770 inquiries to the Information Service.
    In 65% of inquiries, the source of inquiry was recorded as ‘Other’. These have been excluded from the analysis.
    Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-14:  Referral destination by year
    Legal Aid NSW Information Service, 2000-2002
    Referral destination
    2000 %
    2001 %
    2002 %
    All %
    Not referredaTotal not referred
    64.3
    70.4
    76.7
    70.3
    Non-legalGovernment
    4.7
    2.7
    3.2
    3.5
    Dispute resolution
    0.3
    0.2
    0.3
    0.3
    Police
    0.5
    0.8
    0.4
    0.6
    Total non-legal
    5.5
    3.7
    3.9
    4.4
    LegalCommunity legal centre
    9.1
    7.1
    6.8
    7.6
    Private solicitor
    6.8
    6.4
    3.8
    5.8
    Court
    6.2
    6.1
    3.8
    5.5
    Total legal
    22.1
    19.6
    14.4
    18.9
    Other
    8.1
    6.3
    5
    6.5
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    68 259
    89 467
    63 663
    221 389
    a  ‘Not referred’ includes referrals to other sections of Legal Aid NSW.
    Notes:  Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 8030 (4%) inquiries for the Information
    Service. Information about referral destination was not collected for 139256 inquiries to the Advice Service.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-15:  Referral destination
    LawAccess NSW 2002
    Referral destination
    Inquiries %
    Not referredTotal not referred
    40.3
    Non-legalCommunity organisation
    3
    Library
    1.3
    Government
    7.1
    Union/association
    0.6
    Dispute resolution
    7.5
    Police
    1.2
    Total non-legal
    20.6
    LegalCommunity legal centre
    4.3
    Legal Aid NSW
    15.8
    Solicitor
    9.3
    Court
    9.7
    Total legal
    39.1
    Total (%)
    100
    Total (No.)
    60 948
    Note:  Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 122 (0.2%) inquiries.
    Source:  LawAccess NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-16:  Referral destination by year
    NSW Community Legal Centres 1999-2001
    Referral destination
    1999 %
    2000 %
    2001 %
    All %
    Not referredTotal not referred
    67.7
    65.3
    62.2
    65
    Non-legalCommunity organisation
    4.5
    5.6
    5.2
    5.1
    Government
    2.2
    2.5
    2.8
    2.5
    Dispute resolutiona
    0.7
    0.6
    0.9
    0.7
    Police
    0.6
    0.7
    0.7
    0.7
    Non-legal (other)b
    0.2
    0.1
    0.1
    0.1
    Total non-legal
    8.2
    9.5
    9.7
    9.1
    LegalCommunity Legal Centre
    4.7
    4.6
    5.1
    4.8
    Legal Aid NSW
    5
    3.9
    4.2
    4.4
    Solicitor
    6.8
    8
    9.7
    8.2
    Court
    4.2
    6
    6.5
    5.6
    Total legal
    20.7
    22.5
    25.5
    23
    Other
    3.4
    2.7
    2.7
    2.9
    Total (%)
    100
    100
    100
    100
    Total (No.)
    104 855
    107 304
    113 538
    325 697
    a  Includes complaint handling bodies
    b  Includes unions, health professionals and private organisations.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).

    Table 5-17:  Referral destination by broad area of law
    Legal Aid NSW Information/Advice Service (Information only), 2000-2002
    Referral Destination
    Family %
    Crime %
    Civil %
    Total %
    Not referreda
    39.6
    21.8
    38.6
    100
    Non-legalGovernment
    21
    14.9
    64.2
    100
    Dispute resolution
    18
    5.7
    76.3
    100
    Police
    7.5
    77.6
    14.8
    100
    LegalCommunity Legal Centre
    23.5
    7.6
    68.9
    100
    Private solicitor
    38.6
    19
    42.5
    100
    Court
    24.6
    32
    43.3
    100
    Other
    19
    14.9
    66.1
    100
    All (%)
    33.8
    20.4
    45.8
    100
    Total (No.)
    31 060
    18 779
    42 147
    91 986
    a  ‘Not referred’ includes referrals to other sections of Legal Aid NSW
    Notes:  Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 7923 (8%) inquiries for the Information
    Service. Information about referral destination was not collected for 139256 inquiries to the Advice Service.
    Phone/counter inquiries excluded. See Appendix 1 for more details.
    Source:  Legal Aid NSW (unpublished data).

    Table 5-18:  Referral destination by broad area of law
    LawAccess NSW, 2002
    Referral destination
    Family %
    Crime %
    Civil %
    Total %
    Not referred
    28.3
    16.4
    55.3
    100
    Non-legalCommunity organisation
    5.1
    5.2
    89.8
    100
    Library
    16.1
    19.4
    64.5
    100
    Government
    19.7
    7.9
    72.3
    100
    Union/Association
    1.7
    3.8
    94.5
    100
    Dispute resolution
    11.2
    4.8
    84
    100
    Police
    3.8
    69.9
    26.2
    100
    LegalCommunity legal centre
    20.7
    14.4
    64.8
    100
    Legal Aid NSW
    44.1
    23.5
    32.5
    100
    Solicitor
    20.6
    15.1
    64.4
    100
    Court
    30
    23.2
    46.8
    100
    All (%)
    26.7
    16.8
    56.5
    100
    Total (No.)
    16 284
    10 224
    34 386
    60 894
    Note:   Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 183 (0.3%) inquiries.
    Source:  LawAccess NSW 2002 (unpublished data).

    Table 5-19:  Referral destination by broad area of law
    NSW Community Legal Centres, 1999-2001
    Referral destination
    Family %
    Crime %
    Civil %
    Total %
    Not referred
    25.4
    15
    59.6
    100
    Non-legalCommunity organisation
    8.5
    3.7
    87.8
    100
    Government
    17.3
    6.3
    76.4
    100
    Dispute resolutiona
    35.2
    14
    50.8
    100
    Police
    23.3
    51.9
    24.8
    100
    Non-legal (other)b
    2.6
    2.4
    95
    100
    LegalOther Community Legal Centre
    24.4
    12.6
    63
    100
    Legal Aid NSW
    47.4
    19.8
    32.8
    100
    Solicitor
    50.5
    10.6
    38.9
    100
    Court
    35.8
    11.3
    53
    100
    Other
    28.9
    11.5
    59.6
    100
    All (%)
    28
    13.9
    58.1
    100
    Total (No.)
    91 179
    45 126
    189 221
    325 526
    a  Includes complaint handling bodies.
    b  Includes unions, health professionals and private organisations.
    Note:  Information about referral destination was missing for an additional 980 (0.3%) inquiries.
    Source:  Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department National Information Scheme (unpublished data).


    Appendix 6: Tables - dispute resolution agencies


    This appendix contains the usage data for each of the 24 dispute resolution agencies detailed in Section 2 of the Digest. The data covers the three calendar years 2000, 2001 and 2002 and the three financial years 1999/2000, 2000/2001 and 2001/2002. For organisations with a national jurisdiction, NSW statistics have been reported where available.

    The data were taken directly from Annual Reports and Reviews. There are a number of differences in how the agencies have reported their data. The agencies collect different data sets and use different categories and terms. In the case of recording approaches made to them by service users, some agencies record both inquiries and complaints and others have more detailed categories such as free call number, disputes, grievances and problems. Tribunals use the terms lodgements and applications. Some agencies distinguish between written and oral approaches and some record administrative calls. Some agencies report their data in percentages, some in volume, some in both, and some in percentages one year and volume the next. Some agencies did not report the same information over all three years.

    For these reasons there has been no attempt to map the data to a consistent reporting style.

    The agencies appear in the following order, divided into Commonwealth and State agencies for each category:
    Government - Commonwealth

    Australian Consumer and Competition Commission

    Table 6-1:  Volume of approaches by year, Australia
    Australian Consumer and Competition Commission, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of approach
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Inquiriesa
    46 390
    48 660
    9 602
    Complaintsb
    33 309
    46 749
    47 518
    Total
    79 699
    95 409
    57 120
    a  Includes inquiries not pursued and inquiries about GST. There was no GST inquiry and complaint category in 2001/2002.
    b  Includes complaints include pursued complaints, complaints not pursued and complaints about GST.
    Source:  ACCC Annual Reports, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was a decrease of 28 per cent in the number of approaches to the ACCC over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 20 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and a decrease of 40 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.

    Commonwealth Ombudsman

    Table 6-2:  Volume of approachesa by year, NSW
    Commonwealth Ombudsman, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Agency approach related to
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    C’wealth Ombudsman
    4 624
    4 703
    4 444
    Australian Federal Police
    12
    7
    11
    ACT Ombudsman
    2
    1
    0
    Defence Force Ombudsman
    149
    132
    93
    Other approaches
    2 521
    2 025
    2 955
    Total
    7 308
    6 868
    7 503
    a  Approaches includes written and oral complaints.
    Source:  Commonwealth Ombudsman Annual Reports, 1999/2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 3 per cent in the number of complaints from NSW to the Ombudsman over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of a decrease of 6 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and an increase of 9 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.

    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission

    Table 6-3:  Volume of approaches by year, NSW
    Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of approach
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Telephone inquiriesa
    -
    3 996
    3 926
    Written inquiries
    -
    246
    271
    Complaint lodged
    492
    501
    517
    Total
    492
    4 743
    4 714
    a  Includes telephone, email, TTY, and in person inquiries.
    Source:  HREOC Annual Reports, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There were a total of 4714 approaches to HREOC from NSW in the financial year 2001/2002, a 1 per cent decrease from the financial year 2000/2001. Between the two financial years mentioned, the number of telephone inquiries decreased while the number of written inquiries and complaints lodged increased.

    Private Health Insurance Ombudsman

    Table 6-4:  Volume of approaches by year, Australia
    Private Health Insurance Ombudsman, 2000/2001 to 2001/2002
    Type of approach
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Problemsa
    707
    1 628
    1 314
    Grievancesb
    463
    648
    1 288
    Disputesc
    705
    1 081
    580
    Total complaints received
    1 875
    3 357
    3 182
    a  Problem – moderate level of complaint.
    b  Grievance – moderate level of complaint where mediation is required.
    c  Dispute – highest level of complaint where significant investigation is required.
    Source:  PHIO Annual Reports 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 70 per cent in total approaches to the Ombudsman over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 79 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and a decrease of 5 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.

    Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman

    Table 6-5:  Volume of approaches by year, Australia
    Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Contacta
    67 761
    98 853
    85 927
    a  Includes inquiries and complaints.
    Source:  TIO Annual Reports 2001, 2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 27 per cent in the number of approaches to the TIO over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 46 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and a decrease of 13 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002. According to the Annual Report, the rise was due to two factors: an increased number of enquiry officers which enabled more complaints to be investigated and the fact that One.Tel went into voluntary administration during the last months of 2000/01.


    Government - State

    Anti-Discrimination Board

    Table 6-6:  Volume of approaches by year, NSW
    Anti-Discrimination Board, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of approach
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Inquirya
    16 655
    15 520
    15 072
    Complaintb
    1 381
    1 587
    1 625
    Total
    18 036
    17 107
    16 697
    a  Includes seeking information, advice, assistance or requesting publications. Can be by phone, letter, TTY, email or face-to-face.
    b  Completing a complaint form or sending a letter.
    Source:  ADB Annual Reports 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was a decrease of 7 per cent in the number of approaches to the Anti-Discrimination Board over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of a decrease of 10 per cent in the number of inquiries and an increase of 18 per cent in the number of complaints. The Annual Report suggests that the decrease in inquiries may be due to increased access to the web site and a consequent increase in the complexity of inquiries.

    Community Justice Centres

    Table 6-7:  Volume of complaintsa by year, NSW
    Community Justice Centres, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of complaint
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Behaviouralb
    14 987
    15 902
    13 773
    Specificc
    9 157
    10 883
    8 737
    Total
    24 144
    26 785
    22 510
    a  Complaints are only recorded for Party A. There may be more than one complaint per case, for example, the average number of complaints per case in 2001/02 was 3.
    b  Complaints relating to the disputing behaviour.
    c  Complaints relating to the nature of the problem.
    Source:  CJC Annual Reports, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: The number of complaints to Community Justice Centres decreased by 7 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 11 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and a decrease of 16 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.

    NSW Health Care Complaints Commission

    Table 6-8:  Volume of complaints by year, NSW
    Health Care Complaints Commission, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of complaint
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Telephone inquiriesa
    5 340
    6 635
    5 310
    Patient Support Serviceb
    3 119
    4 056
    3 842
    Written complaints
    2 425
    2 888
    2 673
    Total
    10 884
    13 579
    11 825
    a  Telephone inquiries do not include administrative calls.
    b  Patient Support Service assists clients in resolving complaints with private and public health services.
    Source:  HCCC Annual Report 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 9 per cent in the number of approaches to the Commission over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of a decrease of 0.6 per cent in the number of telephone inquiries, an increase of 23 per cent in the number of inquiries to the Patient Support Service and an increase of 10 per cent in the number of written complaints.

    NSW Ombudsman

    Table 6-9:  Volume of approaches by year, NSW
    NSW Ombudsman, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of approach
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Written complaints/notifications
    9 388
    9 820
    8 292
    Oral complaints/inquiries
    24 025
    26 564
    26 533
    Total
    33 413
    36 384
    34 825
    Source:  NSW Ombudsman Annual Report 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 4 per cent in the number of approaches to the NSW Ombudsman over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of a decrease of 12 per cent in the number of written complaints and notifications and an increase of 10 per cent in the number of oral complaints and inquiries.

    Office of Industrial Relations, NSW Department of Commerce

    Table 6-10:  Volume of complaints by year, NSW
    Department of Industrial Relations,a 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Industrial complaints
    6 132
    5 953
    4 300
    a  These figures apply to the Department of Industrial Relations, which was the name of the Office of Industrial Relations prior to 2003.
    Source:  NSW Department of Industrial Relations Annual Report 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was a decrease of 30 per cent in the number of industrial complaints to the Department of Industrial Relations over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of a decrease of 3 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and a decrease of 28 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002. The Annual Report noted that this was due to the adoption of early intervention strategies which resolve grievances prior to the formal complaint registration phase.

    Office of the Legal Services Commissioner

    Table 6-11:  Volume of approaches by year, NSW
    Office of the Legal Services Commissioner, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of approach
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Telephone inquiries
    9 089
    9 110
    9 999
    Written complaints
    2 901
    2 635
    2 928
    Total
    11 990
    11 745
    12 927
    Source: OLSC Annual Reports 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.
    Usage trends: There was an increase of 8 per cent in the number of approaches over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 10 per cent in the number of inquiries and an increase of 0.9 per cent in the number of complaints.


    Tribunals - Commonwealth

    Administrative Appeals Tribunal

    Table 6-12:  Volume of lodgements by year, Australia
    Administrative Appeals Tribunal, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Total lodgements
    8 050
    12 863
    7 767
    Source:  AAT Annual Reports 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was a decrease of 4 per cent in the number of lodgements over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 60 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and a decrease of 40 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.

    Migration Review Tribunal

    Table 6-13:  Volume of applications by year, Australia and NSW
    Migration Review Tribunal, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Region of residence of applicant
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    New applications (Australia)
    6 480
    7 211
    8 531
    New applications (NSW)
    3 429a
    4 133
    -
    a  Reported as 3705 on p.15 of 2000/01 Annual Report.
    Note:  Figures for NSW were not reported in the 2001/2002 Annual Report.
    Source:  MRT Annual Reports 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 32 per cent in the number of new applications over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 11 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and an increase of 18 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.

    Refugee Review Tribunal

    Table 6-14:  Volume of applications by year, Australia
    Refugee Review Tribunal, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    New applications received
    6 093a
    6 545
    4 929
    a  This number was reported as 6133 on p. 17 of the 2000/2001 Annual Report.
    Source:  RRT Annual Reports 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was a decrease of 19 per cent in the number of new applications over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 7 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and a decrease of 25 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.

    Social Security Appeals Tribunal

    Table 6-15:  Volume of applications by year, Australia
    Social Security Appeals Tribunal, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Applications received
    9 231
    9 349
    9 576
    Source: SSAT Annual Reports 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 4 per cent in the number of applications received over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 1 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and an increase of 2 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.

    Superannuation Complaints Tribunal

    Table 6-16:  Volume of approaches by year, Australia and NSW
    Superannuation Complaints Tribunal, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of approach
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Telephone inquiries (Australia)
    10 603
    8 733
    11 993
    Written complaints (Australia)
    1 599
    1 856
    2 023
    Written complaints (NSW)
    486
    637
    671
    Source:  SCT Annual Reports 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 38 per cent in the number of written complaints from NSW over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 31 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and an increase of 5 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.


    Tribunals - State

    Administrative Decisions Tribunal

    Table 6-17:  Volume of applications by year, NSW
    Administrative Decisions Tribunal, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of application
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    General
    374
    350
    293
    Community Services
    16
    60
    70
    EEO
    91
    111
    108
    Retail Leases
    152a
    107
    137
    Legal Services
    35
    38
    38
    Total
    668
    666
    646
    a  52 is quoted in the 2000/01 Annual Report.
    Source:  ADT Annual Reports, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was a decrease of 3 per cent in the number of applications to the ADT over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of a decrease of 0.3 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and a further decrease of 3 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002. The 2001-2002 ‘Revenue’ category was not included in these calculations, as it commenced in 2001.

    Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal (CTTT)

    Table 6-18:  Volume of applications by year, NSW
    Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal,a 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Total applications received
    61 564
    64 458
    61 316
    a  Previously the Residential Tribunal (RT) and Fair Trading Tribunal (FTT).
    Source:  RT & FTT Annual Reports 1999/2000, 2000/2001; CTTT Annual Report 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was a decrease of 0.4 per cent in the number of applications over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 5 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and a decrease of 5 per cent from 2000/2001 to 20001/2002.


    Self-regulated industry - Commonwealth

    Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman

    Table 6-19:  Volume of approaches by year, Australiaa
    Australian Banking Industry Ombudsman,b 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of approach
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Inquiries from individualsc
    54 649
    61 729
    64 365
    Disputes
    6 199
    7 107
    7 992
    Total
    60 848
    68 836
    72 357
    a  NSW disputes made up 32 per cent of the total disputes in 2001/02.
    b  Changed to the Banking and Financial Services Ombudsman in 2003.
    c  Inquiries from business excluded.
    Source:  ABIO Annual Reports, 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 19 per cent in the number of approaches over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 18 per cent in the number of inquiries and an increase of 29 per cent in the number of disputes.

    Credit Union Dispute Resolution Centre

    Table 6-20:  Volume of approaches by year, Australia
    Credit Union Dispute Resolution Centre, 2001/2002a
    Type of approach
    2001/2002
    Freecall number
    4 348
    Inquiries
    864
    Complaints
    343
    Disputes
    89
    Total
    5 644
    a  Annual Reports not available for earlier years.
    Source:  CUDRC Annual Report 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: Data were only available for one year.

    Financial Industry Complaints Service

    Table 6-21:  Volume of telephone approaches by year, Australia
    Financial Industry Complaints Service, 2000 to 2001
    Type of approach
    2000
    2001
    Telephone inquiries
    7 737
    7 151
    Telephone complaints
    3 514
    3 481
    Total
    11 251
    10 632
    Source:  FICS Annual Review 2001.

    Usage trends: There was a decrease of 6 per cent in the number of telephone approaches over the two calendar years from 2000 to 2001. This consisted of a decrease of 8 per cent in the number of telephone inquiries and a decrease of 1 per cent in the number of telephone complaints.

    Insurance Brokers Disputes Ltd

    Table 6-22:  Volume of approaches by year, Australia
    Insurance Brokers Disputes Ltd, 2000 to 2002
    Type of approach
    2000
    2001
    2002
    Toll free callsa
    3 388
    3 288
    4 031
    Written complaints
    161
    195
    155
    Written complaints (NSW)
    51
    54
    57
    a  Toll free calls include calls about new and existing complaints, verbal advice and
    broker referrals to other complaints schemes and relevant bodies.
    Source:  IBDF Annual Reports 2000, 2001, 2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 12 per cent in the number of complaints from New South Wales over the three years from 2000 to 2002. This consisted of an increase of 6 per cent from 2000 to 2001 and an increase of 6 per cent from 2001 to 2002.

    Insurance Enquiries and Complaints Ltd

    Table 6-23:  Volume of approaches by year, Australia and NSW
    Insurance Enquiries and Complaints Ltd, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    Type of approach
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Inquiries
    56 855
    68 252
    75 487
    Disputes (NSW)
    991
    1 089
    1 169
    Source:  IEC Annual Reviews 2000, 2001, 2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 18 per cent in the number of disputes in NSW over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This was comprised of an increase of 10 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and an increase of 7 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.


    Self-regulated industry - State

    Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW

    Table 6-24:  Volume of complaints by year, NSW
    Energy & Water Ombudsman NSW, 1999/2000 to 2001/2002
    1999/2000
    2000/2001
    2001/2002
    Complaints
    3 648
    4 344
    4 908
    Source:  EWON Annual Reports 1999/2000, 2000/2001, 2001/2002.

    Usage trends: There was an increase of 35 per cent in the number of complaints over the three financial years from 1999/2000 to 2001/2002. This consisted of an increase of 19 per cent from 1999/2000 to 2000/2001 and an increase of 13 per cent from 2000/2001 to 2001/2002.


    Publication details


    Copyright Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales 2004

    This publication is part of a scholarly, referenced monograph series. Monographs are refereed by at least two appropriate external referees who are independent of the Foundation and any other organsiations/authors involved in the publication.

    Any opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Law and Justice Foundation Board of Governors.

    This publication is copyright. It may be reproduced in part or in whole for educational purposes as long as proper credit is given to the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales.

    National Library Cataloguing-in-Publication data:

    Access to justice and legal needs : a project to identify
    legal needs, pathways and barriers for disadvantaged people
    in NSW. Stage 1, Data digest : a compendium of service
    usage data from NSW Legal Assistance and Dispute Resolution
    Services, 1999-2002.

    New ed.
    ISBN 0 909136 86 6.

    1. Justice, Administration of - New South Wales. 2. Legal
    assistance to the poor - New South Wales - Digests.
    3. Legal aid - New South Wales - Digests. 4. Equality before
    the law - New South Wales. 5. Law - Economic aspects - New
    South Wales. I. Scott, Sue, 1956- .
    347.944

    Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales

    <http://www.lawfoundation.net.au>

    L14, 130 Pitt Street
    Sydney NSW 2000
    GPO Box 4264, Sydney NSW 2001
    Phone: (02) 9221 3900
    Fax: (02) 9221 6280
    Email: lf@lawfoundation.net.au

    Privacy disclaimer. No data which would allow identification of individual service users has been used.




    Executive summary


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


    Introduction
     Cunningham, Mary and Ted Wright 1996, The Prototype Access to Justice Monitor, Justice Research Centre, Law Foundation of NSW. This prototype is a collection of quantitative measures for Queensland legal services in areas such as court delays, legal costs and available services.


    Section 1. Legal assistance services
     There is also considerable variation in how agencies define the type of assistance provided. For a discussion of variations in service definitions, see Scott, S. and C. Sage, Gateways to the Law: an Exploratory Study of how Non-profit Agencies Assist Clients with Legal Problems, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney, 2000, pp. 2427.
     Indices of concentration were calculated for all demographic variables except for source of income.
     Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census Basic Community Profile and Snapshot: New South Wales, 2001, <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/>.
     Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Localities Index, Australia: Localities & Streets Indexes and Explanatory Notes for ASGC 2002, Catalogue No. 1252.0, <http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/>.
     That is a separate chi-square test was performed between gender and year, age and year, country of birth and year, etc.
     Not referred was included as a category of referral destination in the chi-square test.
    10  Given the Digest is written for a lay audience, the chi-square scores, associated degrees of freedom and significance levels are not reported in the text.


    Ch 1. The type of legal matter
    11  Specialist Community Legal Centres have not been included in this chapter as they do not cover a wide range of areas of law.
    12  These are based on a modified version of the Legal Information Access Centre Subject Headings, <http://info.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au/lawaccess/lawaccess.nsf/pages/jsms_liacsubject>.
    13  Family Law inquiries were not divided further due to the likelihood that family law inquiries will involve multiple issues, e.g. divorce and property.
    14  A modified form of the Australian Standard Offence Classification was used to categorise the Legal Aid NSW Duty Solicitor Service data because of the high proportion of criminal matters.
    15  Because of the high proportion of Criminal Law inquiries to the Legal Aid Duty Solicitor Service, general crime has been further broken down using a different coding system. See the analysis for the Duty Solicitor Service for more details.
    16  Data provided for the Chamber Magistrate Service were divided into three categoriesfamily, domestic/personal violence, otherand could not be further broken down.
    17  LawAccess NSW data were only available for the year 2002


    Ch 2. Demographic characteristics of service users
    18  See, for example, New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, New South Wales Criminal Courts Statistics 2002, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar1.nsf/files/CCS02.pdf/$FILE/CCS02.pdf>
    19  See, for example, New South Wales Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research, New South Wales Criminal Courts Statistics 2002, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/bocsar1.nsf/files/CCS02.pdf/$FILE/CCS02.pdf>.
    20  Legal Aid NSW has a separate Childrens Legal Service which represents children and young people under 18 in criminal and child welfare cases before the Childrens Court.
    21  Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Standard Classification Of Cultural and Ethnic Groups, Catalogue No. 1249.0, <http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/>.
    22  One possible reason for the lower percentage of housing enquiries from Indigenous Australians, as compared to housing enquiries from non-Indigenous Australians, could be that specialist Indigenous Tenants Advice Services exist outside of the community legal centre sector. The data from these services are therefore not included in the National Information Scheme data. By comparison, many of the 14 general (non-Indigenous) tenancy services are auspiced by local community legal centres and their data are included in the National Information Scheme data.
    23  These two figures are not directly comparable, due to differences in definitions.
    24  These two figures are not directly comparable, due to differences in definitions.
    25  Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Localities Index, Australia: Localities & Streets Indexes and Explanatory Notes for ASGC, Catalogue No. 1252.0, 2002, <http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/>.
    26  Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census Basic Community Profile and Snapshot: New South Wales, 2001, <http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/>.
    27  See, for example, Stimson, R., S. Baum and K. OConnor, The social and economic performance of Australias large regional cities and towns: implications for rural and regional policy, Australian Geographical Studies, July 41 (2), 2003, pp. 131147. This article provides a framework for analysing regional cities and towns in Australia in terms of opportunity and vulnerability based on a range of socioeconomic factors.
    28  Lawlink NSW, Location of NSW Local Courts, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/locations/locnsw.nsf/pages/nswmap>.
    29  See Combined Community Legal Centres Group, Directory of New South Wales Community Legal Centres, Surry Hills, 2002, for details of generalist and specialist community legal centres.
    30  LawLink NSW, Location of NSW Local Courts, <http://www.lawlink.nsw.gov.au/locations/locnsw.nsf/pages/nswmap/>


    Ch 3. Pathways of service users
    31  Although LawAccess NSW collected data on how service users found out about their service, these data have not been included in the Digest. They have been excluded because of the high proportion of referrals from Legal Aid NSW and the Law Society, which reflects the fact that LawAccess was established in 2001 as the amalgamation of the Legal Aid NSW and Law Society of NSW helplines.


    Section 2. Dispute resolution agencies
    32  Sackville, R, Access to Justice: Assumptions and Reality Checks, in Access to Justice Roundtable - Proceedings of a Workshop July 2002, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney, 2003, p. 30.
    33  National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, ADR Statistics: Published Statistics on Alternative Dispute Resolution in Australia, 2002, <http://www.nadrac.gov.au/www/disputeresolutionHome.nsf/>.
    34  Some dispute resolution agencies collect demographic data via surveys. See, for example, Elix, J and T Sourden, Review of the Financial Industry Complaints Service 2002 What are the issues? Community Solutions, La Trobe University, University of Western Sydney, 2002. The results of such surveys have only been included if they were published in an Annual Report.
    35  National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council, ADR Statistics, 2002. Note that we have not included Commonwealth funded family mediation services due to the high proportion of matters that they deal with that relate to court processes.
    36  Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census Basic Community Profile and Snapshot: New South Wales, 2001 <http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/>
    37  The Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal and the Health Care Complaints Commission publish numbers on the use of interpreter services. These have not been reported here as they shed no light on the country of origin or preferred language of the service user.
    38  These two figures are not directly comparable, due to differences in definitions.
    39  These two figures are not directly comparable, due to differences in definitions.


    Appendix 1: Data sources, legal assistance services
    40  It was not possible to carry out analysis of gender due to an error in the data collection process for the period covered. This has been rectified for data collected after 2002.
    41  LawAccess NSW source of inquiry data were not used due to the high proportion of service users who found out about the service through the parent bodies of LawAccess, Legal Aid NSW and the NSW Law Society.
    42  See Combined Community Legal Centres Group, Directory of New South Wales Community Legal Centres, Surry Hills, 2002, for details of all community legal centres in NSW.
    43  Age was provided in pre-defined categories and could not be mapped to Law and Justice Foundation categories.


    Appendix 2: Additional services


    Appendix 3: Region of residence classification scheme
    44  Australian Bureau of Statistics, National Localities Index, Australia: Localities & Streets Indices and Explanatory Notes for ASGC 2002, Catalogue No. 1252.0, <http://www.ausstats.abs.gov.au/>.
    45  Australian Bureau of Statistics, Postal Area to Statistical Local Area Concordance, Australia, Catalogue No. 1253.0, ABS, 2001.
    46  Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census Basic Community Profile and Snapshot: New South Wales, ABS, <http://www.abs.gov.au/>.


    Appendix 4: Data analysis methods
    47  ICs were not calculated for source of income.
    48  Population rates are calculated using data from the 2001 census. (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2001 Census Basic Community Profile and Snapshot: New South Wales, ABS, <http://www.abs.gov.au/>).
    49  For a description of the chi-square function and its test procedure, see Siegel, S. and Castellan, N.J., Nonparametric Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences, 2nd Ed., McGraw-Hill, NY, 1998.
    50  To test whether the distribution of missing values for the variable was similar to the distribution of valid values for the variable across years and broad area of law, a preliminary three-way chi-square test was conducted between the variable, year and broad area of law, including inquiries with missing values as one of the categories for the variable. If the chi-square statistic was not significant, it was assumed that the distribution of missing values was similar to the distribution of valid values across years and broad areas of law.
    51  That is, if the preliminary chi-square test was significant.


    Appendix 5: Tables - legal assistance services


    Appendix 6: Tables - dispute resolution agencies


    Publication details