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Welcome to the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW

Acting Director
March 2022

We are pleased to announce that the Law and Justice Foundation Board member Andrew Smith has been appointed to the role of Acting Foundation Director on an interim basis, following the departure of Geoff Mulherin

Read more about Andrew Smith here >

Important Update
February 2022

Please click here for an important message from the Chair of the Law and Justice Foundation on the departure of long time Director, Mr Geoff Mulherin.

Read here >

Foundation Review
December 2021

In August 2021 the Foundation decided to review its strategies and the operations it employs to achieve its statutory Objects. The independent review was undertaken by Ross Beaton, the Director of Insight Consulting.

Read the Final Report >


Indicators of Legal Needs - Data update
December 2021

We have updated several indicators of potential legal needs from various data sources. Download the spreadsheet to view new family violence indicators and more recent BOCSAR and Social Services data (2020-21).

Download here >

Estimating Legal Needs for legal assistance planning
June 2021

Estimating legal needs is an essential part of service planning, and also a requirement under the NLAP. This new video by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW describes key points to consider when estimating legal needs in your jurisdiction or region.

Watch the video >

Criminal Finalisations Dashboard
July 2021 | Using criminal courts data to inform service planning

The Criminal Finalisations Dashboard is an interactive dashboard to facilitate interrogation and analysis of court data to support service planning at state and local level across NSW.

Access the dashboard >

National Legal Needs Dashboard launched
February 2021

The National Legal Needs Dashboard is an interactive online data tool to assist in identifying potential legal need in the community and help legal assistance services in Australia to be planned according to need.

Access the dashboard >

Designing legal needs surveys
Legal needs surveys are the most reliable way to gain an understanding of the legal needs of the community but design is key to their usefulness. This paper explores the factors that need to be taken into account, such as who should participate? What sort of questions should be asked? What types of problems should be examined? ... read more | Download Justice Issues paper 31

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The Law and Justice Foundation of NSW is an independent statutory body established to:
  • contribute to the development of a fair and equitable justice system
  • that addresses the legal needs of the community
  • and improves access to justice by the community, particularly for socially and economically disadvantaged people.

We assist the legal and justice sector by providing empirical research evidence, analytical advice and comprehensive data tools to support planning and service delivery.

Read more about the Foundation >

An Analysis of Legal Aid service data: two Jurisdictional Profiles
New South Wales Profile 2018-19
Northern Territory Profile 2020-21
November 2022 | This report presents an analysis of Legal Aid service delivery data in New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

Service delivery data provides an opportunity to better understand what types of legal assistance services are provided, where, for what legal problems, and to which client profiles. This report explores the potential insights that can be gained from this valuable resource.

In exploring the broader question of whether service delivery data is a suitable source of evidence to guide policy decisions, we reiterate that such data is an important factor, yet only one of many to be considered in the development of planning strategies.

Download the report >

Legal Assistance Services Outcomes Frameworks: A Rapid Scoping Review
July 2022 | This report draws together evidence relevant to framework development, shared outcomes, and sector-wide frameworks and collates information on how outcomes frameworks are currently used within the legal assistance sector nationally and internationally.

The successful use of outcomes frameworks as part of an outcomes-based approach to service design has many benefits by putting people’s needs at the centre of design and delivery. An outcomes-based approach leads to continuous improvement by building evidence about what works and why and drives innovation to achieve even better outcomes. Outcomes frameworks are increasingly being adopted across many and diverse sectors. The information contained in this report may be of value in informing the development of sector-wide outcomes frameworks for legal assistance services in Australia.

Download the report >

Coroners Courts - A review of the research literature on improving court experiences for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Families
July 2021 | This report provides a sound base for reviewing culturally sensitive processes and practices within the coronial system, particularly for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander families.

Coroners courts in many jurisdictions throughout Australia are seeking ways to ensure their processes and practices are culturally sensitive, particularly for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islands families. This report provides a sound base for reviewing culturally sensitive practices within the coronial system. It does this by describing variations in service provision across Australian jurisdictions to characterize current practices, and by analysing key literature to guide discussion and further services development.

Download the report >

Criminal Finalisations background research papers
July 2021 | Using criminal courts data to inform service planning

Locating legal assistance demand: using courts data to support legal service planning for First Nations people in NSW. This report presents an analysis of criminal finalisations with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander defendants by court locations in NSW over a five-year period, from 2012 to 2016. Access the report >

Using court data to support planning legal assistance for First Nations people. This report is a feasibility study to explore the possibility to expand the model designed for NSW to the national level. It includes an assessment of data availability across all jurisdictions in 2018, and an analysis of Queensland Courts statistics over the period 2013-14 to 2017-18. Access the report >

Law informed: The value of telephone legal information services to clients
December 2020

Do telephone legal information services fill a valuable place in the legal assistance landscape? Under its Research Alliance with Victoria Legal Aid (VLA), the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW followed up clients of VLA’s Legal Help over three months after their initial telephone call. Legal Help’s information and referral service is available to anyone in the Victorian community and is the main gateway for legal assistance to the general public and the entry point for legal triage to more intensive service providers. The research assessed the value of information services based on the following criteria: reach to the community, accessibility to clients, appropriateness of services provided, client experience, actions promoted and client outcomes. Download the report >

Access to justice and the COVID-19 pandemic
September 2020

Co-published by the OECD and the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales, this policy brief focuses on the immediate and medium-term consequences of the COVID-19 crisis for justice systems and their users, and proposes examples of steps that can be taken during this period to support access to justice. It discusses nine key lessons, from research and practices across the globe that justice systems can draw on to develop stronger people-centred practices and contribute to an inclusive economic recovery.
Download the report >

The Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales does not provide legal advice or referrals. If you need legal information, advice or assistance, please contact LawAccess on 1300 888 529, or visit