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Legal aid eligibility changes improve access to justice

Legal aid eligibility changes improve access to justice

By Kerry O'Shea

Advocacy Human Rights Justice 


The LIV welcomes Victoria Legal Aid's efforts to improve the delivery of effective legal services by extending the reach of the means test.

VLA has announced changes that it says will reduce the number of people who are missing out on access to legal aid because their assets and income level means they do not qualify for legal aid, but they are too poor to afford a private lawyer.

The LIV has previously made recommendations to VLA to review and increase assessable income and assets to reflect current CPI and inflation rates.

LIV president Steven Sapountsis says VLA’s proposal to increase the maximum allowable assets from $300,000 to $500,000 is a sensible move. “The $300,000 figure was originally set by the National Means Test that was introduced in the mid-1990s. At the time this was based on the Henderson Poverty Line, and it has not been reviewed or increased since.”

The LIV also supports VLA proposals to adjust the allowable income levels before a person is required to make a partial or full contribution towards the cost of assistance.

“These changes mean that more people will be eligible for legal aid, which is an important step towards ensuring access to justice for all,” Mr Sapountsis said.


For further information regarding this media release please contact:
Kerry O'Shea, General Manager, Public Affairs & Legal Policy

T: 03 9607 9373

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