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Annual Report 2021 - 2022

Legislative compliance and fair processes

Full compliance with public interest disclosures

Legal Aid NSW has complied with our six-monthly reporting obligations under the Public Interest Disclosures Act 1994 (NSW).
There were two public interest disclosures made during this reporting period.

Significant judicial decisions relating to the Legal Aid Commission Act 1979 (NSW)

Considine v Legal Aid Commission of NSW [2022] NSWCATAD 43

In 1997 the Attorney General granted an exemption under section 126A of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977 (NSW) to Legal Aid NSW for the Domestic Violence Court Assistance Program. In 2021 Mr Considine made a complaint to Anti-Discrimination NSW that he was discriminated against on the basis of sex by a Women’s Domestic Violence and Advocacy Service (WDVCAS) worker. Anti-Discrimination NSW referred the complaint to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal, which accepted the submission made by Legal Aid NSW that the exemption granted in 1997 allowed the Women’s Domestic Violence and Advocacy Program to provide services for women only, despite the fact that the exemption certificate does not refer to women. The tribunal held that the exemption also applies to Women’s Domestic Violence and Advocacy Services and their workers, even though the services are not managed by Legal Aid NSW and the workers are not employed by Legal Aid NSW.


Legal Aid NSW manages personal information in accordance with our Privacy Management Plan.  The plan explains how we manage personal information in accordance with the principles set out in the Privacy and Personal Information Protection Act 1998 (NSW) and the Health Records and Information Privacy Act 2002 (NSW). Legal Aid NSW includes privacy notices in our application forms and other public documents and provides advice and guidance to staff on how to deal with privacy issues.

In the 2021–2022 financial year, KPMG conducted an audit of our privacy practices against key standards and legislative requirements and made several recommendations that are being implemented to strengthen Legal Aid NSW privacy processes and mitigate associated risks.

No internal review applications on privacy were received this year.

Right to information

Legal Aid NSW adopts a proactive approach to the release of information where possible. We review our published information on a regular basis and routinely upload information to our website that may be of interest to the general public. This includes updating a wide range of publications and resources for the public, including factsheets, brochures and pamphlets about legal rights and responsibilities, policy documents and law reform submissions. Publications are also available in a variety of community languages.

During the 2021–2022 reporting period we received 42 formal applications under the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009 (NSW), also known as GIPA. Most of these were requests by individuals for their own personal information. Five applications for internal review of a GIPA decision were received. The full details of these applications are set out in Appendix 7.

Year ahead iconThe year ahead

  • The Board and the Audit and Risk Committee will oversee the implementation of Project Respect, a broad program of work that will to ensure our workplaces live up to our values of safety, belonging and respect.
  • The Board will oversee the implementation of the final year of the Legal Aid NSW Strategic Plan 2018–23.

Key challengeKey Challenge

  • The Board will work with the Executive to develop a strategic plan to meet increasing demand while ensuring services remain targeted and tailored to the needs of our clients.