Legal Aid WA. We Help More People Than You Think. (Presentation to FCAWA October 2014)

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1 Legal Aid WA We Help More People Than You Think (Presentation to FCAWA October 2014)

2 Our Aims To help people to resolve their legal problems as soon as possible. To make it easier for people to get legal help, especially if they belong to a disadvantaged group To help people find alternatives to going to court To provide a high quality legal service To provide a Duty Lawyer Service at the courts

3 Our Services Telephone information and referrals (state wide) Over the counter legal information and referrals Legal advice Minor assistance Advocacy Dispute resolution Legal representation under a grant of aid

4 How to contact us Phone the InfoLine For the cost of a local call from anywhere in the State our Information Officers are available to provide advice and legal information. Where appropriate, the InfoLine staff will book an appointment with a solicitor. Lines are open 8.30 am pm Monday to Friday (WST).

5 Legal Advice Bureau (LAB) Lawyers are available to provide legal advice on various legal issues. Appointments can be made by contacting your closest Legal Aid Office or by ringing

6 Minor Assistance Program (MAP) Under our Minor Assistance Program we can assist clients with certain family and civil law problems. This may include drafting letters to the other party and some court documents (but only where the client has the ability to represent themselves in court). Appointments for minor assistance are made in appropriate cases after the client has been provided with legal advice.

7 Domestic Violence Legal Unit Legal advice and representation on Violence Restraining Order matters Duty lawyer service (Perth based) Safety planning Provides legal training on DV issues including the WA Police and the private legal profession. Partners with Domestic Violence Advocacy Service

8 Duty Lawyer Services Family Court Perth Duty lawyer services at Family Court (clients are usually referred to this service by the Family Court) Urgent legal advice Urgent one off representation Assistance with lodging an application for legal representation, where appropriate.

9 Children s Court (Protection) Service Duty lawyer service Legal advice and minor assistance for respondents to protection and care applications Signs of safety pre hearing conferences Pre birth meetings

10 Duty Lawyer Services Crime Duty lawyer services at most metropolitan Magistrates and Children s Courts Urgent legal advice Pleas on less serious crimes, bail applications, etc Prison visiting service Duty lawyer services at regional courts

11 Grants for legal representation Grants of legal aid are available where a client requires a lawyer for ongoing legal representation. Before granting aid for legal representation Legal Aid must: Apply an asset and income test (known as the means test) Ensure the matter comes within State and Commonwealth Priority and Eligibility Guidelines Be satisfied that the applicant is likely to succeed.

12 Family Law Legal representation on family law matters under grants of aid are available for: Recovery orders, Parenting issues (where there is domestic violence) Dispute resolution conferencing Independent children s lawyers Separate representation at Children s Court

13 Grants of aid may be assigned to a Legal Aid lawyer (the Inhouse Practice) or to a private lawyer.

14 Legal Aid s Family Dispute Resolution Service One party to the dispute must qualify for a grant of legal assistance. Matters that can be conferenced are: Children s issues Property settlement where there is a grant for FDR for children s issues. Signs of Safety meeting. Parties are screened to ensure the matter is suitable for FDR.

15 The Inhouse Legal Practice Children s Legal Unit (Criminal) Represents children on criminal matters in the Children s Court. Flexibility to conduct interviews by telephone or in the home

16 Family Law Practice: Acts as the Independent Children s Lawyer (ICL) in the Family Court and Separate Representative in the Children s Court; Represents parents in the Family Court; Represents clients on Appeals.

17 Criminal Law Practice: Represents clients in the Magistrate, District and Supreme Courts; Represents clients on Appeals Is responsible for the Duty Lawyer and Prison Visiting Service

18 Civil Law Practice: Represents clients on: Guardianship and Administration applications before the State Administrative Tribunal (SAT) Applications for criminal injuries compensation; Common Law claims (including for Abuse in Care claims)

19 Motor vehicle personal injuries claims; Supreme Court matters Provides daily civil law legal advice sessions; Provides advice, minor assistance and advocacy under the Social Inclusion Program Provides a fortnightly Duty Lawyer Service at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal; Provides a Duty Lawyer Service at the State Administrative Tribunal, on request

20 Social Inclusion Program Civil law Strong focus on advice, minor assistance and advocacy Early intervention legal services Community legal education Developed the My car App Improves access to justice for people who find it difficult to interact in the legal system Increased collaboration and cooperation between legal assistance providers and other services

21 Civil Litigation Assistance Scheme (CLAS) Assistance scheme has been established to assist plaintiffs who are unable to pay the cost of civil proceedings and who would not otherwise be eligible for a grant of legal aid. Applications must be submitted by private practitioners who are willing to act for the client under CLAS. CLAS Conditions of Assistance and the CLAS application form are available on the LAWA website.

22 With 10 Regional Offices Regional Offices Christmas / Cocos Islands Office East & West Kimberley Regional Office Pilbara Regional Office Cocos Islands Christmas Island South Hedland Broome Kununurra Midwest Gascoyne Regional Offices Goldfields Regional Office Midland Regional Office Fremantle Regional Office Southwest Regional Office Great Southern Regional Office Carnarvon Geraldton Kalgoorlie Midland Fremantle Perth Bunbury Albany

23 Contact Us Telephone Information Line Social Inclusion Website

24 Website The new website Public have access to the same information Four main headings Legal Aid Services. Information about the law Legal Resources Information for lawyers

25 Website

26 Website

27

28

29 When Separating

30 When Separating

31 What s the law What s the law dvd Choose your state Northern Territory Victoria Subtitles On New South Wales Queensland Subtitles Off Tasmania South Australia Credits Western Australia Activity Sheets

32 What s the law What s the law dvd Western Australia Choose your story Australian Legal System Police Driving Renting Centrelink Car Accident Buying a car Child Protection Family Law Family Violence

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