“The rule of law and a strong independent judiciary are empty ideals if people cannot access the courts”
– The Hon Kevin Lindgren AM QC, The Rule of Law and Some Current Aspects of the Legal Scene in Australia
It is a core principle of the rule of law that justice must be accessible to all.
Provision of justice through a functioning, adequately resourced legal system is a core responsibility of government. Budget crises require budgetary responses, not inroads into the rule of law and access to justice.The sheer volume of legislation passed by parliament and the complexity of some laws can make it extremely difficult to know what the law is, and compunds the complexity of cases which come before the courts.
This trend ultimately reduces certainty and confidence in the legal system which erodes the rule of law.
“The court should be accessible, so that a person’s ability to vindicate legal rights is not made illusory by long delays or excessive costs.”
-Walker, G de Q, The Rule of Law: Foundation of Constitutional Democracy,(1988)
Resources on Access to Justice
- Submission on Fee increases in the federal courts in 2013, submission
- Rule of Law Senior Vice President, Malcolm Stewart before Senate Committee, hansard
- Kevin Lindgren AM QC, The Rule of Law and Some Current Aspects of the Legal Scene in Australia*
- Kevin Lindgren AM QC, The Rule of Law: Its State of Health in Australia*
- Senate Committee Inquiry, website
- Productivity Commission Inquiry into Access to Justice 2013, website
- Attorney-General’s Department page on Access to Justice, website
- Education Booklet on Access to Justice, resource