The Department of Justice and Regulation is undertaking a review to improve access to justice for Victorians with everyday legal problems or disputes.
The review aims to extend the support offered by the law and justice system. It will investigate how best to limit the rising costs, complexity and limited availability associated with legal services, in the hopes of rendering them more cost-effective and supportive.
Specifically, the review will focus on:
- Entry points into the legal system, for example availability of accessible legal information;
- Options for diverting people from unnecessary and expensive litigation;
- Availability of alternative dispute resolution and pro bono legal services;
- Availability and distribution of funding amongst legal assistance providers;
- Potential reforms regarding small claim matters in VCAT; and
- Options for providing better support to self-represented litigants in all Victorian court jurisdictions.
The Review will build upon the previous Inquiry Report of the Productivity Commission in 2014, which also investigated Access to Justice Arrangements.
Other considerations will include the needs of disadvantaged Victorians, including Victorians from an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander background.
Nicholes Family Lawyers await the report which is due to be released on 22 August 2016.