Community Law Funding Great Value for Money
Community Law Funding Great Value for
Media Release – 10 April 2013
Announced funding security for Community Law is a huge relief to the sector.
“We thank Justice Minister Judith Collins for her decision to secure funding for Community Law Centres (CLCs) for the next two years, providing certainty to this important sector,” says Elizabeth Tennet, Chief Executive of the national organisation, Community Law Centres o Aotearoa (CLCA).
From over 140 locations around the country CLCs provide free legal services to about 250,000 people each year who are unable to pay for a private lawyer or who do not have access to legal aid. They mainly receive advice and assistance on family, employment, consumer, criminal, housing, and immigration problems.
The services are provided by a small number of paid staff and a large network of over 1,200 volunteers, mostly lawyers, who work for free because of their belief in the importance of access to justice.
In addition, free legal information is available to all New Zealanders on the Community Law website, www.communitylaw.org.nz which receives nearly three-quarters of a million hits each year.
“For an investment of $10.97m per year, the New Zealand tax payer is receiving a return of at least $36.23m per year and possibly as much as $43.53m per year from Community Law”, Ms Tennet says.
“While we haven’t quantified all our benefits, if our information and education services led to only a one percent cost reduction in the court system, then CLCs would have saved approximately $7.3 million dollars per year.”
CLCs provide improved justice system efficiency and increased confidence in the justice system and the rule of law.