Chapter 1. Introduction
This report details the results of a pilot survey of legal needs undertaken in Bega Valley in October 2002. The development and piloting of the legal needs survey was a necessary element of a broader initiative to implement a major legal needs survey in six local government areas across New South Wales in 2003, as part of the second stage of the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Access to Justice and Legal Needs Research Program.
The legal needs survey will seek to address issues arising under the following program objectives:
- the ability of disadvantaged people to obtain legal assistance
- the ability of disadvantaged people to participate effectively in the legal system
- the ability of disadvantaged people to obtain assistance from non-legal advocacy and support.
In particular, the legal needs survey will concentrate on quantitative analysis, and will seek to provide information in relation to:
- the nature of legal issues encountered by disadvantaged people
- the services and processes (both legal and non-legal) used to resolve legal issues
- the perceptions of outcomes of legal issues
- the barriers that obstruct access to justice
- whether socioeconomic factors or the type of legal event affects any of the above issues
- related issues in relation to particular disadvantaged groups across the surveyed regions.