Working Cheaper, Working Harder: Inequity in Funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services

Indigenous Law Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 10, pp. 19-22, 2009

UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2011-7

7 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2011

See all articles by Melanie Schwartz

Melanie Schwartz

University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Chris Cunneen

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney; University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences; James Cook University - Cairns Campus

Date Written: January 12, 2011

Abstract

Good legal representation for Indigenous people goes to the heart of questions of access to justice, equity and the rule of law; proper representation represents the ability of Indigenous people to use the legal system to a level enjoyed by other Australians. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (‘ATSILS’) are the preferred provider of legal services for Indigenous people, with nine ATSILS servicing 96 sites nationally. Funding for these services should be sufficient to provide assistance across all legal arenas, from civil law matters, to advice for victims of crime, to representation for those charged with criminal offences.

This paper examines the adequacy of funding available to ATSILS, and the impact of funding constraints on ATSILS’ ability to deliver effective, quality legal services. In order to make this assessment, the authors first examine some special issues in servicing Indigenous clients.

Keywords: Indigenous People, Access to Justice, Equity

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Melanie and Cunneen, Chris, Working Cheaper, Working Harder: Inequity in Funding for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (January 12, 2011). Indigenous Law Bulletin, Vol. 7, No. 10, pp. 19-22, 2009; UNSW Law Research Paper No. 2011-7. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1742626

Melanie Schwartz (Contact Author)

University of New South Wales (UNSW) ( email )

Kensington
High St
Sydney, NSW 2052
Australia

Chris Cunneen

Jumbunna Institute for Indigenous Education and Research,University of Technology Sydney ( email )

15 Broadway, Ultimo
PO Box 123
Sydney, NSW 2007
Australia

University of New South Wales, School of Social Sciences ( email )

Kensington, New South Wales 2052
Australia

James Cook University - Cairns Campus ( email )

PO Box 6811
Cairns, Queensland 4870
Australia

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