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Annual Report 2008-09 Performance Reports - Outcome 1

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Chapter 6 Outcome 1

An equitable and accessible system of federal civil justice

Overview

In order to achieve Outcome 1, the Attorney-General’s Department provides a diverse range of legal services and policy advice.

The Department’s responsibilities cover courts and tribunals, alternative dispute resolution, administrative law, bankruptcy, classification, constitutional policy, human rights, evidence and procedure, family law and related services for separated families, legal assistance, international law, information law, Indigenous justice, native title and personal property securities law.

The Department provides specialist support for the Attorney-General as First Law Officer, promotes Australian legal services internationally, drafts and publishes legislative materials, and provides advice on international law.

In working to achieve this outcome, the Department is also responsible for administering payments for the provision of legal aid, family relationships services, Indigenous law and justice programs, community legal services and financial assistance towards legal costs and related expenses. The Department works in cooperation and consultation with many other organisations. These include government agencies (Commonwealth, State and Territory), advisory bodies, taskforces, professional associations and community interest groups.

During 2008–09, we made significant and substantial progress towards achieving Outcome 1, with developments being establishment of the Access to Justice Taskforce, introduction to Parliament of the Access to Justice (Civil Litigation Reforms) Amendment Bill 2009, implementation of new accreditation standards for family dispute resolution practitioners, reforms to evidence laws, introduction of an industry based assessor scheme for the classification of films, national consultation on human rights, same-sex reforms successfully passed through Parliament, reform to the native title system, and development of the National Indigenous Law and Justice Framework.

Performance reports for each output contributing to Outcome 1 are presented in this chapter.

Resource summary

Table 3: Resource summary, Outcome 1—An equitable and accessible system of federal civil justice

  Budget*
2008–09
$’000
(a)
Actual expenses
2008–09
$’000
(b)
Variation
$’000
(a)–(b)

Output Group 1.1: Family law, federal courts and tribunals, civil procedure and alternative dispute resolution

 

 

 

Administered items

 

 

 

Family Relationship Services Program

162,684

161,634

1,050

Family Court of Western Australia

14,071

14,025

46

Payments for services under the Family Law Act 1975 and the Child Support Scheme legislation

2,031

2,003

28

Payments to Law Courts Limited for contributions to operating and capital expenses

39,954

39,954

Payments for membership of international bodies

664

667

–3

Payments for grants to Australian organisations

1,411

1,411

Judges’ Pensions Scheme—superannuation surcharge

257

257

Judges’ Pensions Act 1968

62,500

54,672

7,828

High Court Justices (Long Leave Payments) Act 1979

827

994

–167

Departmental Outputs

24,495

27,343

–2,848

Revenues from other sources (s 31)

229

781

–522

Subtotal for Output 1.1

309,123

303,484

5,639

Output Group 1.2: Support for the Attorney-General as First Law Officer, constitutional policy, personal insolvency and international legal services

 

 

 

Administered items

 

 

 

Equine Influenza Inquiry

134

134

Clarke Inquiry into the case of Dr Mohamed Haneef

2,187

2,045

142

Administration of the National Classification Scheme

274

249

25

Law Officers Act 1964—former Solicitors-General

450

450

Departmental Outputs

6,452

9,897

–3,445

Revenues from other sources (s 31)

392

60

332

Subtotal for Output 1.2

9,889

12,637

–2,812

Output Group 1.3: Classification, copyright and human rights

 

 

 

Administered items

 

 

 

National consultation into human rights and responsibilities

1,899

1,488

411

Departmental Outputs

15,822

16,331

–509

Revenues from other sources (s 31)

721

1,482

–761

Subtotal for Output 1.3

18,442

19,301

–859

Output Group 1.4: International law

 

 

 

Departmental Outputs

5,800

6,463

–663

Revenues from other sources (s 31)

194

243

–49

Subtotal for Output 1.4

5,994

6,706

–712

Output Group 1.5: Legislative instruments

 

 

 

Administered items

 

 

 

Publication of Acts and select legislative instruments

1,129

996

133

Departmental Outputs

10,048

8,710

1,338

Revenues from other sources (s 31)

3,119

2,281

298

Subtotal for Output 1.5

14,296

12,527

1,769

Output Group 1.6: Native title

 

 

 

Departmental Outputs

6,470

6,815

–345

Revenues from other sources (s 31)

4

56

–52

Subtotal for Output 1.6

6,474

6,871

–397

Output Group 1.7: Indigenous law and justice and legal assistance

 

 

 

Administered items

 

 

 

Payments for the provision of legal aid for Indigenous Australians

59,187

59,188

–1

Payments for the provision of law and justice advocacy services for Indigenous Australians

2,510

2,510

Payments for the provision of prevention, diversion, rehabilitation and restorative justice services for Indigenous Australians

26,147

26,146

1

Payments for the provision of family violence prevention legal services for Indigenous Australians

18,776

18,798

–22

Payments for Indigenous interpreter services in the Northern Territory

1,843

1,843

Payments for the provision of legal aid—Legal Aid Commissions

4,733

2,999

1,734

Payments for the provision of legal aid—States and Territories

118,532

118,452

80

Payments for the provision of community legal services

31,104

31,082

22

Financial assistance towards legal costs and related expenses

3,025

3,152

–127

Departmental Outputs

15,203

17,052

–1,849

Revenues from other sources (s 31)

30

202

–172

Subtotal for Output 1.7

281,090

281,424

–334

Output Group 1.8: Personal property securities

 

 

 

Administered items

 

 

 

Personal property securities—public awareness campaign

75

75

Departmental Outputs

10,142

8,969

1,173

Revenues from other sources (s 31)

142

112

30

Subtotal for 1.8

10,349

9,156

1,203

Total for Outcome 1

655,667

652,170

3,497

Departmental

99,263

107,337

–8,074

Administered

556,404

544,833

11,571

 

 

 

 

Average staffing level (number)

 

642 

 

Notes:

* Full-year budget, including any subsequent adjustment made to the 2008–09 Budget

** Special Account receipts and payments are shown in Note 25 to the Financial Statements

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