Aboriginal communities need better access to legal services

PIAC recently made a submission to the Senate Finance and Public Administration Committee’s inquiry into the underlying causes of the disproportionate interaction of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with the justice system, and whether legal assistance services are adequate in these communities.

On the basis of our casework, principally through the Indigenous Justice Program, we believe that there is significant unmet legal need for this group of Australians, particularly in the area of civil law. Poor resourcing is compounding other barriers to access to justice, such as geographic remoteness and socioeconomic disadvantage. 

Our submission also sets out a number of factors which contribute to the high rate of contact Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people have with the criminal justice system, such as proactive policing of bail in NSW, and calls for justice reinvestment initiatives and justice targets to be implemented.

Read the submission…

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