Yesterday's InBrief reported on the successful local launch of the Legal Aid Matters campaign, jointly organised by the Bar Association with the Law Society and attended by Noel Hutley SC, Arthur Moses SC, Tim Game SC and Bar Association Treasurer and co-chair of the launch, Chrissa Loukas SC.
Speaking of the importance of legal aid, Chrissa Loukas SC quoted from a speech by the Hon Murray Gleeson AC QC at the Law Council's State of the Judicature speech in October 1999, in which he said:
The expense which governments incur in funding legal aid is obvious and measurable. What is not so obvious, and not so easily measurable, but what is real and substantial, is the cost of the delay, disruption and inefficiency, which results from absence or denial of legal representation. Much of that cost is also borne, directly or indirectly, by governments. Providing legal aid is costly. So is not providing legal aid.
Last night Prime 7 News reported that thousands of people in regional New South Wales are missing out on legal representation because they don't qualify for legal aid and can't afford to pay for a lawyer. Other media outlets around the country are running the story.
Richard Roxburgh's YouTube video has received around 900 views so far, and there have been 3000 hits on social media, but members of the Bar Association are urged to spread the word and sign the campaign petition to all members of parliament.