SBS language | How to get free legal assistance in Australia


Disadvantaged people who need legal assistance can seek help from their state or territory’s legal aid commission or visit community legal centers or legal services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders. .

Monash University law professor Dr Jeff Giddings says legal aid authorities have limited funds, so they must decide which cases to accept.


Strong points

  • In Australia, more than 170 independent, not-for-profit community legal centers provide free legal aid, including information, referrals, legal training, counseling, social assistance and advocacy services. Likewise, a person appearing before the criminal court must be represented by a legal professional, however in family and civil matters, you can choose to represent yourself.
  • Across the country, in local courts and tribunals, anyone can turn to duty counsel for help if they have a case in court that day and don’t have a lawyer.
  • Most middle-income people are not eligible for legal aid grants

“Legal aid authorities will be looking at different ways in which legal services can be provided; it’s not just about having a lawyer to represent you in court. There may be other primary dispute resolution processes that can be used, your mediation type services. They are a large part of the types of services that legal aid authorities will provide or fund others to provide these services.


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