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How to get free legal assistance in Australia

Scale of justice Source: Getty Images

Australia’s legal system can be confusing for common people, and professional help may be necessary to navigate it. But with lawyers charging hundreds of dollars in hourly fees, not everyone can afford to pursue justice. However, you may be able to access free help through legal aid.

Disadvantaged individuals who need legal assistance can seek help from the legal aid commission in their state or territory or go to community legal centres or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services.  

Professor of Law at Monash University Dr Jeff Giddings says Legal Aid authorities have limited funding, so they have to decide which cases to accept.

"Legal Aid authorities will look at different ways in which legal services can be provided; it's not just having a lawyer represent you in court. It might be that there will be other primary dispute resolution processes that can be used, so you've got mediation type services. They make up a large part of the types of services that Legal Aid authorities are either going to provide, or they are going to fund others to provide those services."

Click on the player at the top of the page to listen to this audio in Punjabi.

SBS is committed to informing Australia’s diverse communities about the latest COVID-19 developments. News and information is available in 63 languages at https://www.sbs.com.au/language/coronavirus

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