This survey provides the first comprehensive quantitative assessment across Australia of an extensive range of legal needs on a representative sample of the population.
It examines the nature of legal problems, the pathways to their resolution, and the demographic groups that struggle with the weight of their legal problems.
The present report is one in a series of nine reports that provides the initial findings of a national survey of legal needs — the LAW Survey. The series consists of a report on Australia as a whole and a report on each state/territory.
The LAW Survey deals with key questions that go to the heart of understanding the legal and access to justice needs of the community, and how to address these needs. It assesses the prevalence of legal problems across the community, and the vulnerability of different demographic groups to different types of legal problems. It examines the various adverse consequences that can accompany legal problems, as well as the responses people take when faced with legal problems and the outcomes they achieve.
Significantly, incorporating 20 716 interviews across Australia, the LAW Survey is the largest legal needs survey to date conducted anywhere in the world. It provides an unrivalled dataset for the ongoing investigation of the types of legal problems that are often captured by smaller surveys in insufficient numbers for meaningful analysis, such as rare legal problems and the legal problems experienced by minority demographic groups.
The report series brings together the results of the detailed analysis of the data from the LAW Survey with the most up-to-date review of the leading legal needs research internationally and in Australia. Not surprisingly, there are many consistencies — and some differences — across time and across jurisdictions.