: Coordinating community legal information and publications

Coordinating community legal information and publications

James Farrell

Queensland’s legal assistance services provide information to the community about their rights and responsibilities. This ‘community legal education’ can be undertaken face-to-face (one-on-one or to groups), or through the provision of information and publications.

There are some concerns expressed (generally from government funders) that there is unnecessary duplication of information and publications by legal assistance services (Legal Aid, community legal centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services, and Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention Legal Services).

Legal assistance services have produced 422 separate publications in recent years, and there is no meaningful duplication in any of these materials. There are valid reasons explaining some limited duplication in some materials, including the specific needs of target audiences, differences in access to services etc.

Despite the lack of duplication and the existing coordination and collaboration, Queensland legal assistance services do continually work to improve their processes. This project examined processes in other jurisdictions to coordinate the development of legal information and publications, and existing mechanisms in Queensland. QAILS found that Queensland’s legal assistance services’ collaborative and coordinated approach ensure limited duplication without sensible justification, but there is the opportunity to improve.

The draft report is available at: — http://www.qails.org.au/01_cms/details.asp?ID=272.

JAMES FARRELL is the director of the Queensland Association of Independent Legal Services Inc.
(2015) 40(3) AltLJ 213
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