Legal assistance sector planning
The National Partnership Agreement on Legal Assistance Services 2015 -2020 (the NPA) is an intergovernmental funding arrangement that covers Commonwealth funding to both Legal Aid Commissions and Community Legal Centres (CLCs) in each jurisdiction.
As part of the NPA, the states are required to undertake collaborative service planning with the legal assistance sector to improve coordination between service providers in the planning and delivery of services.
The intended aim of collaborative service planning is to facilitate a holistic and evidence-based approach in making decisions about the allocation of funding within the legal assistance sector.
A Collaborative Services Planning Group has been convened for Western Australia and has co-ordinated the preparation of Legal Need Mapping Reports for WA. These reports examine an evidence base for legal need in WA and map where existing legal assistance services are located in WA. These reports will be updated as required under collaborative service planning processes detailed in the NPA.
You can access these reports below:
- Assessment Of Legal Need Demographic Report for WA (2017)
- WA Overview of Legal Need Report (2017)
- Legal Service Mapping Report (2017)
A report specifically focused on identifying areas of need in family violence services in WA was overseen by the Aboriginal Family Law Services.
Another working group has also conducted extensive mapping of Community Legal Education activities and projects in WA.
Following a recommendation in the 2003 Joint Review, the WA Community Legal Centre Stakeholder Consultative Committee was formed in 2006 to provide advice to government on:
- addressing unmet legal needs, and
- ways to facilitate coordination and collaboration throughout the CLC sector.
In 2009, the Committee published a report to:
- Give an update on the key findings and recommendations from the 2003 Joint Review.
- Outline new and emerging areas of legal need.
- Identify priority areas in the current sustainability of CLC services.
- Briefly outline current WA demographics relevant to the review.
In 1997, the Commonwealth and states began a series of joint reviews into CLCs receiving funding through the Commonwealth Community Legal Services Program. In WA, the Joint Review of Community Legal Centres report (the 2003 Joint Review) included all CLCs, whether or not they received CCLSP funding.
The 2003 Joint Review made four key findings:
- CLCs enhance citizenship, make a positive contribution to the community and should be actively supported by all levels of government.
- The diverse nature of CLCs, the specialist and general services they provide, and their community involvement ensures relevant and appropriate services are offered that are responsive to client needs.
- Existing CLCs are appropriately located and the services they are able to provide with existing resources are aligned with need.
- Gaps in coverage exist in four regional areas (Gascoyne, Peel, West Kimberley and Wheatbelt) and three geographical corridors of the outer metropolitan area (north, north east and south east).
The report includes 16 separate recommendations to achieve the outcomes from the Joint Review’s terms of reference.
NPA Collaborative Services Planning Group
- Assessment of Legal Need – Social and Demographic Analysis of WA (2017)
- Legal Need in Western Australia - a preliminary review (2017)
- Legal Assistance Services Mapping in WA (2017)
- Family Violence Service Planning Survey (2016)
- WA Community Legal Education Resources Audit (2016)
- CLE Road Map Workshop (2016)
Commonwealth Community Legal Services Program Joint Review
- Joint Review of Community Legal Centres in WA (2003)
- Demographic and socio-economic analysis of Western Australia (2003)
WA CLC Stakeholder Consultative Committee
Reviewed: 20 April 2018