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OPINION: Law exists to serve all people

ACCORDING to research by the National Association of Community Legal Centres, in 2015-16 Queensland's CLC's provided essential services to almost 60,000 people facing injustices across the areas of family, criminal and civil law.

Sadly, in this same period around 60,000 people were turned away due to a lack of capacity caused by cuts in funding by successive governments.

Adequate legal assistance services are critical in ensuring fairness and efficiency in our court system, and to providing access to justice for the most financially disadvantaged.

CLCs are distinct in that they have a strong connection to local communities, enabling them to identify and target emerging community needs, such as domestic violence. The law should serve everyone, not just those who can afford it.

It is therefore vital that the Commonwealth Government reverses its impending cuts and commit to properly funding the legal assistance sector in the 2017 Federal Budget.

STEPHANIE FRANCIS

Maurice Blackburn



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