Spike in demand for legal aid

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Tasmania’s unemployment rate is sitting a decade-high of 8.4 per cent and the state of Tasmania’s economy is said to be contributing to a spike in demand for legal aid, reports Zoe Edwards from ABC News.

The Tasmania Legal Aid Commission has stopped funding a range of family court matters, citing budget constraints following a significant surge in demand for assistance in the last six months.

This is not an issue only localised to Australia.  There are legal aid funding issues in other jurisdictions including New Zealand and the United Kingdom.

The New Zealand government has made a number of changes to legal aid which has seen the economic viability far more difficult for family lawyers.

In the United Kingdom, since about April 2013 around 200,000 people a year no longer qualify for legal aid in family law matters, despite child custody cases almost doubling in the past two years.

There is importance of having a well-funded family law system with access to funding for those in need.


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