Legal Assistance Sector Strategy

1 July 2022

Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury has today released the ACT’s inaugural Legal Assistance Sector Strategy for 2023-2025 (the Strategy).

The Strategy outlines the overarching vision for the ACT legal assistance sector and the strategic direction for ongoing collaborative service planning between the ACT Government and the sector to increase access to justice for Canberrans who need it most.

Additionally, the Strategy will strengthen access to justice for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples by ensuring the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Service can continue to deliver culturally appropriate information, legal support and services to Canberra’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.

“This Strategy provides  a strategic vision for the important work that will be undertaken by the ACT Government and the legal assistance sector to support Canberrans as they continue to deal with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, ” Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury said.

The Strategy was co-designed by the ACT’s legal assistance sector, ACT Government and Social Ventures Australia, who were engaged to steward the project.  The Sector organisations that played a key role in developing the Strategy were:

  • Canberra Community Law
  • Legal Aid ACT
  • Women’s Legal Centre
  • CARE Inc
  • Aboriginal Legal Service (ACT/NSW) 
  • Environmental Defenders Office.

The publication of the Strategy is a requirement under the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-25 (NLAP). The NLAP is an intergovernmental agreement that facilitates the provision of Commonwealth funding to Legal Aid Commissions, Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.

Beyond the NLAP, the process to develop the Strategy was an important opportunity to holistically review service delivery and legal need in the ACT.

In September 2022, Attorney-General Rattenbury will announce the ACT’s Legal Assistance Action Plan, which will support the Strategy with a road map to implement the sector-agreed initiatives.