Legal aid budget is disappointingly low, says Australian Law Council
Funding for legal aid services in Australia is disappointingly low, according to the Law Council of Australia after the release of the Australian government’s 2012-13 budget.
Law Council president Catherine Gale said despite clear indications that a lack of funding for legal aid is having a serious impact on the ability of many Australians to access legal services, the Government has chosen to overlook this crucial issue.
The Commonwealth provides a lower proportion of annual legal aid budgets than it did in 1997, when it contributed around 55% to the States’ share of 45%. The Law Council believes that the Commonwealth contribution should be at least 50 per cent.
“All Australians have a fundamental right to access legal advice and services, regardless of their means and the Law Council and its constituent bodies have been calling on the Commonwealth Government to address the underfunding of the legal assistance sector for well over a decade," said Gale.
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