Means Test Review – consultation

Means Test Review – consultation

The purpose of the Means Test Review is to expand access to justice by making more people eligible for grants of legal assistance. We aim to develop an approach to the assessment of financial eligibility that is simple to understand, flexible, efficient to administer, financially sustainable and fair.

We commenced community consultation in August 2016 and wanted to hear from people who missed out on grants of legal assistance. We wanted to hear from people who work with people who missed out on legal assistance so that any reforms built on the experience and expertise of our partners in the legal and community sectors.

Since we commenced consultation the community contributed some examples of their experience of missing out on publicly funded legal assistance. This included:

  • people who have taken on substantial debt to pay for a lawyer after missing out on legal assistance
  • people who represented themselves and felt unable to deal with the proceedings who  subsequently lost their legal matter and access to their children
  • a person who received large fines that have led to personal bankruptcy after not being able to cope with their legal matter alone.

We encouraged broad participation from a range of services across the legal and community sectors. There were a number of different ways to contribute to the Means Test Review. People could share their story, complete a survey, respond to our consultation paper or get in touch with the Means Test Review team to speak about their experience. We also held a series of roundtable discussions for stakeholders who wanted to contribute their ideas directly to the review team.

Our Means Test Review consultation paper (pdf, 894.64 KB) was released to assist with this consultation and is available for review on this page, along with the written submissions we received from external stakeholders.

Submissions to the consultation paper

 

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