We support access to legal assistance services in Victoria through the mixed model of service delivery, providing legal information, advice and ongoing assistance to people in the Victorian community, targeting those with the greatest needs.
Under the Legal Aid Act 1978 (Vic), we coordinate the provision of these services by paying private solicitors and barristers, administering funding to community legal centres, and delivering services through our own staff practice.
Between October and December 2021, we engaged independent consultants Partners in Performance to conduct an analysis of private practitioner supply across Victoria, to better understand the barriers and incentives to practitioners undertaking legally aided work.
The objective of this research is to enable continuous improvement in how we engage with practitioners, support participation in the legal aid scheme and more effectively address service gaps.
We are sincerely grateful for the strong engagement by practitioners in this consultation, whether through survey responses or by attending one of the virtual roundtable events that were held.
We are also grateful for the frank feedback. This feedback identified numerous opportunities to improve the scheme, including some processes within our control that we are implementing or have already contemplated. Other suggestions clearly rely on additional funding by Government to expand service eligibility and increase opportunities for representation by practitioners.
We are now working through the findings to determine our next steps and we look forward to reporting back about these over the coming months.
Read about the mixed model of service delivery.
Reviewed 01 April 2022