Access to justice background paper ( 2003 ) Cite this report
Whilst not negating the importance of these issues, the Foundation's project must take a broader view of what is included within the term 'access to justice'. In particular, in considering the issue in terms of the particular needs of socially and economically disadvantaged people, it is necessary for this project to consider the variety of legal services to which disadvantaged people may seek access, the variety of services from which they seek legal assistance, and the preferred methods of resolution which they seek to employ. This will involve a broader investigation than procedural barriers within the court system. However, as stated earlier, the terms will not be interpreted in such a broad fashion as to consider contested political issues concerning broader notions of 'rights' and 'justice', where the law is clear, and parliament has clearly enacted its will. The purpose of the project is to seek to examine issues of access to justice according to law. With this in mind, the Foundation will seek to investigate the ability of disadvantaged people to:
The Access to Justice and Legal Needs project intends to cover these various issues, many of which raise complex and difficult questions. The Foundation acknowledges that this is a challenging and ambitious project. However, the importance of undertaking such a project using innovative and empirically reliable processes cannot be understated. We hope that the project will contribute significant input into the policies and practices of government, non-government and other interested agencies helping to improve access to justice for the people of New South Wales.