The Commission will receive an additional $1.35M from the Commonwealth Government over four years as part of a Women’s Safety initiative to be set up in Adelaide’s northern suburbs.
The funding will be used to establish a rapid response Specialist Domestic Violence Unit to provide legal advice to victims of domestic violence. The unit will also provide on-going support through existing domestic violence and health agencies.
The funding recognises the Commission’s longstanding experience in domestic violence matters. The Commission is one of just four Australian legal assistance providers to receive funding for a Health Justice Partnership. This initiative will provide legal assistance for abuse victims identified at healthcare facilities, and formal training programs for medical and allied health staff.
Domestic violence victims face multiple legal issues relating to the abuse and separation. These include tenancy and property problems, as well as family law matters relating to parenting, contact and residence issues. It is vital for victims to be able to access legal assistance safely – and quickly.

Attorney-General John Rau, Director Gabrielle Canny and Chairman Michael Abbott AO QC launching the Annual Report.

Our latest Annual Report reveals significant increases in demand for our services. In 2014/15, the Commission:
  • Provided 16,062 grants of aid (up 10%).
  • Handled a record number of telephone legal advice calls (more than 80,000).
  • Assessed 19,254 aid applications (up 7%).
  • Delivered 16,836 duty lawyer services at Magistrates Courts, Family Law Courts and the Youth Court. There was a 15% rise in criminal duty solicitor services, and a 10% increase in family duty lawyer services.
  • Provided 12,521 grants of aid in criminal law matters (up 8%).
  • Approved 3,522 family law aid grants (up 18%).
  • Logged 2 million LSC website page views (Law Handbook views rose 22% to 1.3 million).
  • Recorded a 60% increase in the numbers of people taking part in our legal education webinars.
To view our annual report, click here.

The Legal Services Commission has activated a Bushfire Legal Help Plan to those affected by the recent Pinery bushfires.
South Australians in need of urgent assistance have been prioritised for free legal advice through the Legal Help Line: 1300 366 424.
The assistance is part of a disaster response plan developed through a collaboration involving the Commission, the Law Society, the Attorney-General’s Department, JusticeNet SA and the Central Community Legal Service.
Specific fact sheets have been produced to provide detailed information to people recovering from losses caused by bushfires, such as insurance claims. Click here to view Fact Sheets.

(L-R) Judge Tony Young, Judge Anne Demack; Judge Leanne Turner; Judge Stewart Brown; Judge Peter Cole; Judge Terry McGuire; Family Law Practice Manager Graham Russell and Judge David Dunkley.

Seven Federal Circuit Court judges recently visited the Commission.
Their Honours addressed in-house LSC family lawyers, and private practitioners, about best practice in the conduct of family law cases in their court. The Family Law division gratefully acknowledges the goodwill, and generous assistance of Their Honours in making time for this insightful presentation.

Over the Christmas and New Year period, our offices in Adelaide and Elizabeth will be open except on public holidays. All other offices will be closed from December 25 until January 4.

The Legal Help Line 1300 366 424 will operate on all weekdays except public holidays.

Family Dispute Resolution Services will be closed from December 25 until January 4.

On 29, 30 and 31 December 2015, Criminal Law Duty Solicitor services will be available at the courts open to hear custody matters (Adelaide, Elizabeth and the Youth Court). The Family Law Duty Lawyer Service will also remain open for urgent matters.

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