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Access to Justice

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WA Government’s twisted logic puts children in adult prison

Scott Ludlam 3 Apr 2013

The Western Australian Government's obsession with appearing to be tough on law and order has resulted in children being locked up in an adult prison, including minors who have not been sentenced, the Greens said today.

Greens Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam threw his support behind legal action commencing today to remove dozens of teenagers from the high-security Hakea adult prison.

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Court fee hikes hit hardest those in greatest need

Penny Wright 2 Apr 2013

Disadvantaged Australians are being hit hardest by Family Court fee rises, according to submissions made to a Senate Inquiry chaired by Australian Greens spokesperson on legal affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

Fee increases of more than 300 per cent for divorce applications could have significant impacts on victims of domestic violence, the Inquiry has been told.

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Access to justice increasingly under threat around Australia

Penny Wright 5 Mar 2013

Comments from the South Australian legal community this week about ‘chronic underfunding’ of legal aid affirm the need for proper funding of Legal Aid at both a federal and state level, Greens spokesperson for Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright, said.

The Commissioner for Victims of Crime and a prominent civil liberties lawyer said today that legal aid in South Australia is ‘chronically underfunded’ and that this ‘may give rise to injustices’.

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Court fee hikes subject to Senate Inquiry

Penny Wright 27 Feb 2013

The Labor Government's decision to increase federal court fees will be scrutinised by a Senate Inquiry initiated by Australian Greens spokesperson on Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

The Inquiry will examine whether the higher fees will exacerbate the access to justice crisis in Australia.

"Cost is the most common barrier to people seeking legal help," Senator Wright said. "Increasingly, ordinary Australians are being priced out of the court system because they cannot afford legal representation and court fees."

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Access to justice - court fee inquiry motion

Penny Wright 27 Feb 2013

I move that the following matter be referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by Thursday, 6 June 2013:

The impact of federal court fee increases since 2010 on access to justice in Australia, with particular reference to:

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Labor ignores legal services crisis

Penny Wright 6 Feb 2013

The Labor Government has refused to acknowledge a crisis in access to legal services, voting against a motion today by Australian Greens spokesperson on Legal Affairs, Senator Penny Wright.

"We have had report after report that confirms ordinary Australians are being priced out of the court system because they cannot afford legal representation and court fees," Senator Wright said.

"Australians should be able to seek legal assistance based on the merit of their claim and not the size of their wallet.

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Motion to recognise crisis in access to justice sector

Penny Wright 6 Feb 2013

I move that the Senate

(a)    recognises:

(i)            Research from early 2012 by the Australia Institute which revealed that approximately 500,000 Australians are missing out on essential legal services;

(ii)           The 2012 ACOSS Community Sector Survey that highlighted how community legal centres are struggling to meet demand, waiting lists are increasing and approximately 14 per cent of people who sought assistance in 2010/11 were turned away;

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Court fee inquiry denied

Penny Wright 29 Nov 2012

The Senate's rejection of a move to examine federal court fee increases as high as 341 per cent is a blow to low-income and ordinary Australians, said Australian Greens spokesperson on Legal Affairs Senator Penny Wright.

"Increasingly, Australians are being excluded from the court system because they cannot afford legal representation and court fees," Senator Wright said.

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