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Research Report: Access to justice and legal needs. Stage 1: public consultations
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Access to justice and legal needs. Stage 1: public consultations  ( 2003 )  Cite this report



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Chapter 4. Obtaining assistance from non-legal, advocacy and complaint-handling bodies


4.1 This chapter explores the issues of accessing assistance from non-legal advocacy and support, which were identified through the consultation process, as well as issues relating to government and industry-based complaint bodies. It considers barriers for disadvantaged people, mechanisms and innovations which enhance access, and suggested solutions to further enhance the accessibility of these advocacy and support options.

4.2 For the purposes of this project, non-legal advocacy and support, and complaint-handling bodies includes:

  • at the most informal level, assistance from family members, friends and acquaintances
  • general support, including assistance or referral in relation to a legal problem from community workers such as social workers, welfare workers, health workers, libraries, financial counsellors, psychological counsellors and other community workers
  • community based mediation and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services
  • non-legal advice and assistance provided by government authorities or institutions (e.g. police), non-government organisations and professional associations
  • government and industry-based complaint bodies including State and Commonwealth Ombudsman’s offices, and bodies such as the Australian Industry Banking Ombudsman, the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, and the Insurance Complaints Scheme.1


Schetzer, L., Mullins, J. and Buanamano, R., Access to Justice and Legal Needs A project to identify legal needs and barriers for disadvantaged people in NSW- Background Paper, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, August 2002, pp. 1112, http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/access/background.html

 Schetzer, L., Mullins, J. and Buanamano, R., Access to Justice and Legal Needs A project to identify legal needs and barriers for disadvantaged people in NSW- Background Paper, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, August 2002, pp. 1112, http://www.lawfoundation.net.au/access/background.html


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Schetzer, L. & Henderson, J 2003, Public consultations: a project to identify legal needs, pathways and barriers for disadvantaged people in NSW, Access to justice and legal needs vol. 1, Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, Sydney