Victoria Legal Aid

We are working with the Law and Justice Foundation of New South WalesExternal Link in a new research and evaluation alliance to evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of legal assistance for summary crime matters.

This evaluation will help us build a stronger evidence base to better inform how we can help disadvantaged people in Victoria better and ensure the right people are getting help.

We’ve now received the final report In summary: Evaluation of the appropriateness and sustainability of Victoria Legal Aid’s Summary Crime Program, which was publicly released on 14 June 2017.

The report covers the impact of the changes we introduced to the way summary crime services are delivered with the practitioners and organisations we work with.

The evaluation will take a number of approaches including face-to-face interviews, data analysis and online surveys.

An advisory group has been established to oversee and guide the evaluation. This group is made up of representatives from Law Institute of Victoria, Victoria Police, courts, Department of Justice and Community Safety and the Victorian Bar. There will also be representatives from across Victoria Legal Aid, both within and outside of the criminal law program.

Our 2015–18 Strategy commits us to working better with our partners using evidence and experience to improve legal service delivery.

Summary crime is the first area being evaluated through this new research and evaluation alliance. The alliance began on 1 July 2015 and will run through to 30 June 2017. During that time other areas of our service will be evaluated.

What this evaluation covers

In reviewing the changes we made to summary crime the evaluation:

  • examine the role and purpose of the summary crime service area
  • assess the design and resources of the summary crime service area
  • assess summary crime service delivery offerings (across legal advice, minor assistance, duty lawyer and casework), and identify factors affecting these service types
  • assess whether there is clear understanding of the area’s role and services
  • examine the presence and effectiveness of key relationships (both internal and external).

The evaluation process

The summary crime evaluation process included:

  • focus groups and interviews with key practitioners and organisations we work with
  • analysis of key data and a secondary review of our Client Satisfaction Survey 2015
  • benchmarking with other Australian jurisdictions
  • case studies
  • a staff and external stakeholder survey.

Why did we conduct this evaluation?

We conducted this evaluation to assess the major changes we made to the delivery of summary crime services, implemented between June 2012 and April 2013. The evaluation was designed to assess the appropriateness and sustainability of our summary crime services and the factors influencing our capacity to achieve these aims.

The findings and recommendations will be used to inform the future strategic and operational planning of our summary crime service delivery and to provide information and evidence about the summary crime services we provide and the ongoing challenge of doing so within a high demand, resource constrained environment.


  • January 2016 – review commences
  • February – data analysis commences
  • March to August 2016 – focus groups and interviews take place
  • August 2016 – staff online survey commences
  • June 2017 – final report released with recommendations.

More information

For more information email

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

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Reviewed 18 May 2022

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