ContentJust Search pageLJF site navigationLeft navigation links
LJF Logo
Publications sectionJustice Awards sectionResearch sectionGrants sectionPlain language law sectionNetworks section
Just Search
Research Report: Access to justice background paper
cover image

Access to justice background paper  ( 2003 )  Cite this report

Print chapter
Search or view whole report
View PDF

Social and economic disadvantage

This section of the paper complements the broader discussion of access to justice by examining which people are most likely to face barriers in accessing justice. It deals with the following questions:
  • Who are the economically and socially disadvantaged people?
  • How do these disadvantages reduce their access to justice?
  • Which areas of law are likely to be most relevant to which groups of socially or economically disadvantaged people?

Included in this section is a limited analysis of specific literature relating to the legal and access to justice needs of particular disadvantaged groups in the community, as well as statistics concerning the incidence of a range of disadvantages in Australia or (where available) New South Wales. Generally, statistics are sourced from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), or from other sources that have analysed statistics obtained from the ABS. While use is made of the 2001 Census information when referring directly to the basic community profile statistics, at this stage many of the statistics utilised or presented in the secondary literature are drawn from the 1996 Census.


Schetzer, L, Mullins, J & Buonamano, R 2003, Access to justice & legal needs, a project to identify legal needs, pathways and barriers for disadvantaged people in NSW. Background paper. Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney, 2002, <>