Changes to legal aid from 1 July 2020

Changes to legal aid from 1 July 2020

Tuesday, 23 June 2020

Financial sustainability update  

We began active steps last year to return to a sustainable budget, to avoid large operating deficits that are forecast in the future due to a range of demand pressures in the justice system.

While we are now confronting the additional challenge of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, ensuring our long-term financial viability remains a priority for us.

In January this year, we confirmed some savings initiatives in the family and children’s law area, and these are continuing as announced – some started on 17 February and the others begin on 1 July 2020.

We have recently welcomed some extra funding to provide essential legal services in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are also anticipating some distortion of our end-year financial position due to the deferral of case and trial expenditure as a result of changes in court practices during this time. Some of our services have experienced temporary reductions in demand while courts adjourn proceedings. The underlying demand has remained largely consistent, meaning this expenditure will be incurred in future years.

Our financial sustainability challenges remain, and we will continue to advocate for additional base funding, noting that the State Budget will be delivered later in the year.

We will continue to assess our savings initiatives and work towards a better understanding of our financial position moving forward. We will consider making further changes and assess how we deliver services across our legal programs. We will provide further updates on these proposals as they develop.

More information

Read more about changes comming into effect on 1 July 2020.

 

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