Legal Aid WA welcomes your comments, feedback and complaints as they can assist us in continuing to improve our services and products.
If you are unhappy with our services or staff, the first step is usually to contact us and discuss the issue. If we are unable to resolve the issue or you are not satisfied with our response, you may wish to make a formal complaint.
If the issue relates to a decision relating to a grant of aid, including refusing your application, you may be able to ask for the decision to be reconsidered or reviewed.
Should my complaint be in writing?
A complaint can be made in person, by telephone, fax, or by writing a letter to Legal Aid WA.
If you wish to make a complaint by email, please contact our Perth office by telephone and you will be provided with an email address.
If you need other assistance in lodging a complaint, we can arrange for assistance from special services, such as the telephone interpreter service, the hearing impaired service or assistance for the visually impaired.
Are there time limits for dealing with complaints?
Where an oral complaint is made which concerns a minor administrative or policy matter that does not require investigation, it should be dealt with immediately.
If a complaint is in writing or is a more serious oral complaint, we will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and it will then be investigated. If your complaint is about a private practitioner who is doing work on behalf of Legal Aid WA, you may be asked for permission so we can contact the practitioner and give them a copy of your complaint.
We will send you a written response to your complaint and will include details of the issues, and what action has been taken or will be taken, if necessary. If it is taking longer than expected to deal with your complaint, Legal Aid WA will keep you informed of the progress of the investigation.
If it is considered appropriate, you will also be advised to pursue the complaint further with the Legal Practice Board or any other appropriate government agency.
How does Legal Aid WA deal with my complaint?
Legal Aid WA takes any complaint it receives very seriously and is committed to assisting in obtaining the best possible outcome.
Legal Aid WA ensures that:
- all complaints will be investigated thoroughly and without prejudice
- all parties to the complaint will have the right to be heard and have any submissions considered
- matters not relevant to the complaint will not be taken into account
- the nominated person(s) making decisions in regard to the complaints must be fair and just.
How much will it cost to lodge a complaint?
There is no charge for either lodging a complaint or for any of the services that are used to assist you in lodging a complaint.
What to expect when making a complaint
It is not always possible to resolve an issue as a result of making a complaint. In some instances it may be beyond the capacity of Legal Aid WA to do so, such as providing legal advice to one party to a dispute and providing the same advice to another party to same dispute. This would constitute a conflict of interest for Legal Aid WA.
Legal Aid WA is bound by both policy and legislation which means that sometimes it is not possible to provide the service that a person requires.
You can however expect the following:
- To be treated with courtesy and consideration and to have your complaint thoroughly and properly investigated.
- To be given appropriate and easily understood information concerning the complaints process, including being informed of the progress of any investigation of your complaint.
- Legal Aid WA will endeavour to achieve a satisfactory resolution of the complaint within the bounds of legislative and policy requirements.
What is expected of me if I make a complaint?
We expect that you will treat the staff handling your complaint with courtesy, whilst acknowledging that they will be attending to your complaint through an established complaints handling process.
If we ask you to provide us with information that will assist in the proper handling of your complaint, we expect you to respond and within a reasonable time.
Where do I send my complaint?
You can post your complaint to:
The Complaints Co-ordinator
Legal Aid Western Australia
GPO Box L916
PERTH WA 6832
Reviewed: 17 December 2020