Improved Justice System For All On Australian Agenda
(News4us.com) June 20, 2013
In an announcement made today as part of the Gillard Governments commitment of an additional $118 million in the 2013-14 Budget towards a fairer and more improved access to the Australian Justice System.
The Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus QC and Assistant Treasurer David Bradbury, the Productivity Commission will study how to better improve access to justice in Australia.
“The cost of accessing justice services and securing legal representation prevents many Australians from gaining effective access to the justice system,” Mr Dreyfus said.
“An effective justice system should provide timely and affordable justice for all Australians. It should not be dependent on capacity to pay and vulnerable Australians should not be disadvantaged.”
The Government has called for the Commission to analyse the elements conducive to the latest costs of procuring legal representation and accessing justice services, along with the social and economic impacts of these costs, and whether they are relative to the subjects in dispute.
The Commission has been asked to report on alternatives for attaining lower-cost conflict settlement, including by alternative dispute resolution and through the employment of the latest technology and other accelerated processes.
Further providing advice on information gathering across the justice system to enable improved monitoring of costs and evaluation of standards targeted at holding prices down.
Most Importantly, the Commission will further analyse and account for the amount of Australians who might not be able to afford to secure legal representation, while at the same time being unable to meet the conditions required for legal assistance.
“The Productivity Commission inquiry will allow us to examine the real costs to Australians of accessing justice services, and provide options that will allow Australians to resolve their disputes more quickly and affordably,” Mr Bradbury said.
“The inquiry will make recommendations on the best way to improve access to the justice system and equity of representation including, but not limited to, the funding of legal assistance services.”
The terms of reference for the review are attached. More information is available at www.pc.gov.au
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