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Annual Report 2013 - 2014

Overview

"Reaching more clients at tribunals and courts"

About us

Who we are

Legal Aid NSW is an independent statutory body, established under the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979, reporting to the NSW Attorney General, the Hon Brad Hazzard MP.

We are the largest legal aid agency in Australia, playing a central role in the delivery and coordination of legal aid services.

What we do

We provide legal services across New South Wales, through a statewide network of 21 offices and 194 regular outreach locations, with a particular focus on assisting socially and economically disadvantaged people.

We assist disadvantaged people to deal with legal problems that arise in everyday life through a comprehensive network of services across criminal, family and civil law.

Our services range from high volume legal information, education, advice, minor assistance, dispute resolution and duty services through to an extensive litigation practice.

What we seek to achieve

Legal Aid NSW aims to contribute to a fair justice system. We deliver a high volume of community legal education and advice services that are not means tested.

More intensive assistance, such as casework and legal representation, is means tested.

We work in partnership with private lawyers who receive funding from Legal Aid NSW to represent legally aided clients.

We also work in close partnership with LawAccess NSW, community legal centres, the Aboriginal Legal Service and pro bono legal services.

Our values

We are committed to the legislated NSW public service values:

  • integrity
  • trust
  • service
  • accountability

Our objectives

To promote access to justice through early intervention and prevention and better targeting of legal assistance to disadvantaged people.

To pursue excellence, innovation and efficiency in legal service delivery.

To support and develop our people and improve our systems to meet organisational goals.

To build strong, effective service partnerships to respond to the legal and non-legal needs of our clients.

About this report

This annual report reviews and reports our activities and performance, including what we set out to do in our Legal Aid NSW Plan for 2013–2014. It is structured around the four key objectives of the plan:

  • To promote access to justice through early intervention and prevention;
  • To pursue excellence, innovation and efficiency in legal services;
  • To support and develop our people, and improve our systems; and
  • To build strong effective service partnerships.

Achievements in this report are aligned with focus areas from the plan such as service expansion in regional and remote areas, early intervention strategies, better information and referral services and strong partnerships so we can respond better to clients’ changing legal needs.

This report incorporates all operational activities of our organisation, including joint initiatives. It reflects our commitment to effective corporate governance through openness and accountability, and provides an account of our revenue and how we have used public funds.

As well as the year past, the report looks to the year ahead and comments on the challenges facing Legal Aid NSW in a difficult economic climate.

Last year’s annual report received a Gold Award from the Australasian Reporting Awards – our seventh Gold Award.

This is our thirty-fifth annual report. This, and some earlier annual reports, are available on the Legal Aid NSW website in pdf and easy-to-navigate html format.

In accordance with Public Service Commission directions, Legal Aid NSW no longer produces printed copies of its annual report.