Attorney-General, Robert McClelland, today launched the Government’s Access to Justice Report and a ‘Strategic Framework for Access to Justice’ to guide future policy and reforms in our civil justice system.
“Access to justice is central to the rule of law and integral to the enjoyment of basic human rights. It is an essential precondition to social inclusion and a critical element of a well-functioning democracy,” Mr McClelland said.
The Strategic Framework is based on five key principles of accessibility, appropriateness, equity, efficiency and effectiveness and will support a justice system that aims to:
- allocate resources more efficiently;
- promote fair outcomes;
- encourage the early resolution of problems and disputes;
- enable matters to be directed to the most appropriate method for resolution;
- identify broader issues which may cause specific legal problems; and
- empower individuals, where possible, to resolve their own disputes
“Increasingly, the experience of ordinary Australians dealing with the justice system is marked by confusion and complexity. People often don’t understand legal events, what to do or where to seek assistance, while many are excluded because information is complicated or simply difficult to find.”
The Framework looks at how the justice system operates as a whole and in doing so, seeks to encourage better information, early intervention, and improved avenues to resolve disputes without the need for litigation.
“An effective justice system must be accessible in all its parts. Without this, the system risks losing its relevance to, and the respect of, the community it serves.”
The Framework is the central recommendation of the Access to Justice Taskforce which was established earlier this year in the Attorney-General’s Department to recommend ways to improve access to justice.
The report and its recommendations will be open for public discussion and input to assist the Government in developing initiatives to address and improve access to justice for all Australians.
A copy of the Strategic Framework for Access to Justice and the Access to Justice Taskforce Report is available at www.ag.gov.au/a2j
Media Contact: Adam Siddique 0407 473 630