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National Strategic Framework for Legal Assistance

The National Strategic Framework for Legal Assistance provides the policy framework for all government legal assistance funding. This includes an overarching objective and aspirational principles to guide legal assistance policy development, service delivery and sector planning.

The National Strategic Framework covers all Commonwealth, state and territory government-funded legal assistance. This includes generalist and specialist legal assistance services, delivered by legal aid commissions and community legal centres. It also includes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander‑specific legal assistances services, delivered by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services and Family Violence Prevention and Legal Services.

The National Strategic Framework was developed in consultation with the legal assistance sector. The Council of Attorneys-General agreed to it on 29 November 2019.

The National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-25 supports the National Strategic Framework by contributing to integrated, efficient, effective and appropriate legal assistance services that are tailored to those who need them most.

Objective of the National Strategic Framework for Legal Assistance

The National Strategic Framework encourages a unified and coordinated approach by governments and the legal assistance sector to keep the justice system within reach in Australia and help focus finite resources towards areas of greatest legal need.

It sets out a shared aspirational objective for all Commonwealth, state and territory government funded legal assistance. This is to:

further a national, integrated system of legal assistance that is focused on keeping the justice system within reach, maintaining the rule of law, and maximising service delivery within available resources. Within this system, legal assistance services should be delivered in a high quality and culturally appropriate manner.

Principles of the National Strategic Framework for Legal Assistance

To support its objective, the National Strategic Framework sets out six principles:

  1. Focus service delivery on people facing disadvantage.
  2. Client centred and appropriate services.
  3. Collaboration and integrated approaches.
  4. Appropriately timed responses and preventative action.
  5. Empowerment and resilience.
  6. Continuous learning and improvement.

Download a copy of the National Strategic Framework for Legal Assistance

Read a copy of the National Strategic Framework for Legal Assistance.