Territory Stories

Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission



Annual Report 2020-2021, Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission

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Tabled Paper 433


Tabled Papers for 14th Assembly 2020 -; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT




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Tabled papers

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Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory

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n o rth e rn te rrito ry le g a l a id c o m m issio n a n n u a l re p o rt 2 0 2 0 /2 1 0 1 9 The provision of legal services by NT Legal Aid is governed by the Legal Aid Act. NT Legal Aid is independent of the Northern Territory and Commonwealth Governments. Section 27 of the Legal Aid Act allows NT Legal Aid to provide assistance to a person in relation to a proceeding or matter where the interests of the person are, or may be, adverse to the interests of the NT, the interests of an authority or body established for a public purpose by or under a law of the NT or in the interests of a body corporate in which the NT or such an authority or body has an interest. The services provided by NT Legal Aid take the form of legal information and referral, community legal education, legal advice, duty lawyer services, and legal representation. Legal Information and Referral Free legal information and referral to other appropriate services is available from NT Legal Aids Helpline. Community Legal Education NT Legal Aid provides education for the community to help people know their rights, prevent or reduce legal problems and get help when needed. Education is provided through interactive learning sessions for community groups and service providers, mutli- media, print and web publications, public events and projects. NT Legal Aid partners with other community legal services to share skills and resources, address needs and coordinate our work. Legal Advice Free legal advice is available in relation to criminal, family and civil law matters through legal advice clinics and referrals to private solicitors. Overview of Our Operations Duty Lawyer Services Free duty lawyer services are available at such sittings of those Courts and Tribunals in the NT as the Director considers appropriate. Duty lawyers provide legal advice and may provide limited representation. During this year, duty lawyer services were available as follows: To persons experiencing domestic violence through the Domestic Violence Legal Service. To respondents for proceedings under the Domestic and Family Violence Act through the Respondent Early Assistance Legal Service. To sittings of the Family and Federal Circuit Courts. To people appearing before the Mental Health Review Tribunal. In criminal law matters including youth justice proceedings at Courts in locations where NT Legal Aid has an office. In matters under the Care and Protection of Children Act. Legal Assistance Legal assistance may be provided in accordance with section 26 of the Legal Aid Act if: (a) a person is in need of that legal assistance by reason that she or he is unable to afford the cost of obtaining from private legal practitioners the legal services in respect of which legal assistance is sought; and (b) it is reasonable in all the circumstances to provide the legal assistance. The assistance may be provided free or on condition that the assisted person contributes to part or all of the cost of providing legal assistance. The majority of clients are required to pay a contribution.

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