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  1. #1
    Regular Member Gamecrazy's Avatar
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    Game of randomness

    I'll say a word, then the next person just posts another random word that has nothing associated with the word before.

    I'll start:


    sleep



    A TRIBUTE TO THE ARMED FORCES AND THE F-22 RAPTOR. FIRE TO THE DESTRUCTION OF 9/11 AND THE WAR, A CITY RAMPAGED BY BATTLE AND DEATH, A LAKE OF BLOOD SIGNIFYING THE HONORABLE MEN AND WOMEN WHO HAVE DIED IN WAR, AND THE COMPLETION OF THE F-22 RAPTOR.

  2. #2
    Hentai Master Solo's Avatar
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    idiot


    The Terran Marine Corps- Your first, last, and only Zerg stompin' line of defense.

  3. #3
    The One and Only Negi-kun's Avatar
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    pwnage. lol thats my word.
    I LOVE this girl!


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    Hinata-Sou Resident
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    Banana. Haven't we had this game before?

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    Pure Saiyan Blood Bebetrunks's Avatar
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    Newbertzors...didnt i post in here?



  6. #6
    SK
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    hero of the keyblade SK's Avatar
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    pie






    "Let us walk together... So long as we walk together, I will protect you... I promise." ~Morgana - .hack//SIGN

  7. #7
    Hinata-Sou Resident BobCat's Avatar
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    With Ayaka Rasberry's Avatar
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    confused

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    Poak!

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    Hinata-Sou Resident BobCat's Avatar
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    With Ayaka Rasberry's Avatar
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  12. #12
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    dkafj;lkfjdsoijb;alkbjlkfb

  13. #13
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    Nixon
    Nevada-tan > Chuck Norris > You


  14. #14
    Hinata-Sou Resident BobCat's Avatar
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  15. #15
    Sid Hoffman
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    (anti-word association, eh?)

    boring

  16. #16
    Hinata-Sou Resident BobCat's Avatar
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  17. #17
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    Article I. - The Legislative Branch Note
    Section 1 - The Legislature

    All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

    Section 2 - The House

    The House of Representatives shall be composed of Members chosen every second Year by the People of the several States, and the Electors in each State shall have the Qualifications requisite for Electors of the most numerous Branch of the State Legislature.

    No Person shall be a Representative who shall not have attained to the Age of twenty five Years, and been seven Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State in which he shall be chosen.

    (Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons.) (The previous sentence in parentheses was superseded by Amendment XIV, section 2.) The actual Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct. The Number of Representatives shall not exceed one for every thirty Thousand, but each State shall have at Least one Representative; and until such enumeration shall be made, the State of New Hampshire shall be entitled to chuse three, Massachusetts eight, Rhode Island and Providence Plantations one, Connecticut five, New York six, New Jersey four, Pennsylvania eight, Delaware one, Maryland six, Virginia ten, North Carolina five, South Carolina five and Georgia three.

    When vacancies happen in the Representation from any State, the Executive Authority thereof shall issue Writs of Election to fill such Vacancies.

    The House of Representatives shall chuse their Speaker and other Officers; and shall have the sole Power of Impeachment.

    Section 3 - The Senate

    The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each State, (chosen by the Legislature thereof,) (The preceding words in parentheses superseded by Amendment XVII, section 1.) for six Years; and each Senator shall have one Vote.

    Immediately after they shall be assembled in Consequence of the first Election, they shall be divided as equally as may be into three Classes. The Seats of the Senators of the first Class shall be vacated at the Expiration of the second Year, of the second Class at the Expiration of the fourth Year, and of the third Class at the Expiration of the sixth Year, so that one third may be chosen every second Year; (and if Vacancies happen by Resignation, or otherwise, during the Recess of the Legislature of any State, the Executive thereof may make temporary Appointments until the next Meeting of the Legislature, which shall then fill such Vacancies.) (The preceding words in parentheses were superseded by Amendment XVII, section 2.)

    No person shall be a Senator who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty Years, and been nine Years a Citizen of the United States, and who shall not, when elected, be an Inhabitant of that State for which he shall be chosen.

    The Vice President of the United States shall be President of the Senate, but shall have no Vote, unless they be equally divided.

    The Senate shall chuse their other Officers, and also a President pro tempore, in the absence of the Vice President, or when he shall exercise the Office of President of the United States.

    The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United States is tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall be convicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.

    Judgment in Cases of Impeachment shall not extend further than to removal from Office, and disqualification to hold and enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States: but the Party convicted shall nevertheless be liable and subject to Indictment, Trial, Judgment and Punishment, according to Law.

    Section 4 - Elections, Meetings

    The Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives, shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof; but the Congress may at any time by Law make or alter such Regulations, except as to the Place of Chusing Senators.

    The Congress shall assemble at least once in every Year, and such Meeting shall (be on the first Monday in December,) (The preceding words in parentheses were superseded by Amendment XX, section 2.) unless they shall by Law appoint a different Day.

    Section 5 - Membership, Rules, Journals, Adjournment

    Each House shall be the Judge of the Elections, Returns and Qualifications of its own Members, and a Majority of each shall constitute a Quorum to do Business; but a smaller number may adjourn from day to day, and may be authorized to compel the Attendance of absent Members, in such Manner, and under such Penalties as each House may provide.

    Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.

    Each House shall keep a Journal of its Proceedings, and from time to time publish the same, excepting such Parts as may in their Judgment require Secrecy; and the Yeas and Nays of the Members of either House on any question shall, at the Desire of one fifth of those Present, be entered on the Journal.

    Neither House, during the Session of Congress, shall, without the Consent of the other, adjourn for more than three days, nor to any other Place than that in which the two Houses shall be sitting.

    Section 6 - Compensation

    (The Senators and Representatives shall receive a Compensation for their Services, to be ascertained by Law, and paid out of the Treasury of the United States.) (The preceding words in parentheses were modified by Amendment XXVII.) They shall in all Cases, except Treason, Felony and Breach of the Peace, be privileged from Arrest during their Attendance at the Session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any Speech or Debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other Place.

    No Senator or Representative shall, during the Time for which he was elected, be appointed to any civil Office under the Authority of the United States which shall have been created, or the Emoluments whereof shall have been increased during such time; and no Person holding any Office under the United States, shall be a Member of either House during his Continuance in Office.

    Section 7 - Revenue Bills, Legislative Process, Presidential Veto

    All bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.

    Every Bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate, shall, before it become a Law, be presented to the President of the United States; If he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his Objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the Objections at large on their Journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such Reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the Bill, it shall be sent, together with the Objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a Law. But in all such Cases the Votes of both Houses shall be determined by Yeas and Nays, and the Names of the Persons voting for and against the Bill shall be entered on the Journal of each House respectively. If any Bill shall not be returned by the President within ten Days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the Same shall be a Law, in like Manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their Adjournment prevent its Return, in which Case it shall not be a Law.

    Every Order, Resolution, or Vote to which the Concurrence of the Senate and House of Representatives may be necessary (except on a question of Adjournment) shall be presented to the President of the United States; and before the Same shall take Effect, shall be approved by him, or being disapproved by him, shall be repassed by two thirds of the Senate and House of Representatives, according to the Rules and Limitations prescribed in the Case of a Bill.

    Section 8 - Powers of Congress

    The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States;

    To borrow money on the credit of the United States;

    To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes;

    To establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization, and uniform Laws on the subject of Bankruptcies throughout the United States;

    To coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin, and fix the Standard of Weights and Measures;

    To provide for the Punishment of counterfeiting the Securities and current Coin of the United States;

    To establish Post Offices and Post Roads;

    To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

    To constitute Tribunals inferior to the supreme Court;

    To define and punish Piracies and Felonies committed on the high Seas, and Offenses against the Law of Nations;

    To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

    To raise and support Armies, but no Appropriation of Money to that Use shall be for a longer Term than two Years;

    To provide and maintain a Navy;

    To make Rules for the Government and Regulation of the land and naval Forces;

    To provide for calling forth the Militia to execute the Laws of the Union, suppress Insurrections and repel Invasions;

    To provide for organizing, arming, and disciplining the Militia, and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States, reserving to the States respectively, the Appointment of the Officers, and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress;

    To exercise exclusive Legislation in all Cases whatsoever, over such District (not exceeding ten Miles square) as may, by Cession of particular States, and the acceptance of Congress, become the Seat of the Government of the United States, and to exercise like Authority over all Places purchased by the Consent of the Legislature of the State in which the Same shall be, for the Erection of Forts, Magazines, Arsenals, dock-Yards, and other needful Buildings; And

    To make all Laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into Execution the foregoing Powers, and all other Powers vested by this Constitution in the Government of the United States, or in any Department or Officer thereof.

    Section 9 - Limits on Congress

    The Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit, shall not be prohibited by the Congress prior to the Year one thousand eight hundred and eight, but a tax or duty may be imposed on such Importation, not exceeding ten dollars for each Person.

    The privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

    No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed.

    (No capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid, unless in Proportion to the Census or Enumeration herein before directed to be taken.) (Section in parentheses modified by Amendment XVI.)

    No Tax or Duty shall be laid on Articles exported from any State.

    No Preference shall be given by any Regulation of Commerce or Revenue to the Ports of one State over those of another: nor shall Vessels bound to, or from, one State, be obliged to enter, clear, or pay Duties in another.

    No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.

    No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince or foreign State.

    Section 10 - Powers prohibited of States

    No State shall enter into any Treaty, Alliance, or Confederation; grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal; coin Money; emit Bills of Credit; make any Thing but gold and silver Coin a Tender in Payment of Debts; pass any Bill of Attainder, ex post facto Law, or Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts, or grant any Title of Nobility.

    No State shall, without the Consent of the Congress, lay any Imposts or Duties on Imports or Exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection Laws: and the net Produce of all Duties and Imposts, laid by any State on Imports or Exports, shall be for the Use of the Treasury of the United States; and all such Laws shall be subject to the Revision and Controul of the Congress.

    No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, lay any duty of Tonnage, keep Troops, or Ships of War in time of Peace, enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State, or with a foreign Power, or engage in War, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent Danger as will not admit of delay.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Article II. - The Executive Branch Note
    Section 1 - The President Note1 Note2

    The executive Power shall be vested in a President of the United States of America. He shall hold his Office during the Term of four Years, and, together with the Vice-President chosen for the same Term, be elected, as follows:

    Each State shall appoint, in such Manner as the Legislature thereof may direct, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress: but no Senator or Representative, or Person holding an Office of Trust or Profit under the United States, shall be appointed an Elector.

    (The Electors shall meet in their respective States, and vote by Ballot for two persons, of whom one at least shall not lie an Inhabitant of the same State with themselves. And they shall make a List of all the Persons voted for, and of the Number of Votes for each; which List they shall sign and certify, and transmit sealed to the Seat of the Government of the United States, directed to the President of the Senate. The President of the Senate shall, in the Presence of the Senate and House of Representatives, open all the Certificates, and the Votes shall then be counted. The Person having the greatest Number of Votes shall be the President, if such Number be a Majority of the whole Number of Electors appointed; and if there be more than one who have such Majority, and have an equal Number of Votes, then the House of Representatives shall immediately chuse by Ballot one of them for President; and if no Person have a Majority, then from the five highest on the List the said House shall in like Manner chuse the President. But in chusing the President, the Votes shall be taken by States, the Representation from each State having one Vote; a quorum for this Purpose shall consist of a Member or Members from two-thirds of the States, and a Majority of all the States shall be necessary to a Choice. In every Case, after the Choice of the President, the Person having the greatest Number of Votes of the Electors shall be the Vice President. But if there should remain two or more who have equal Votes, the Senate shall chuse from them by Ballot the Vice-President.) (This clause in parentheses was superseded by Amendment XII.)

    The Congress may determine the Time of chusing the Electors, and the Day on which they shall give their Votes; which Day shall be the same throughout the United States.

    No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

    (In Case of the Removal of the President from Office, or of his Death, Resignation, or Inability to discharge the Powers and Duties of the said Office, the same shall devolve on the Vice President, and the Congress may by Law provide for the Case of Removal, Death, Resignation or Inability, both of the President and Vice President, declaring what Officer shall then act as President, and such Officer shall act accordingly, until the Disability be removed, or a President shall be elected.) (This clause in parentheses has been modified by Amendments XX and XXV.)

    The President shall, at stated Times, receive for his Services, a Compensation, which shall neither be increased nor diminished during the Period for which he shall have been elected, and he shall not receive within that Period any other Emolument from the United States, or any of them.

    Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:

    "I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States."

    Section 2 - Civilian Power over Military, Cabinet, Pardon Power, Appointments

    The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States; he may require the Opinion, in writing, of the principal Officer in each of the executive Departments, upon any subject relating to the Duties of their respective Offices, and he shall have Power to Grant Reprieves and Pardons for Offenses against the United States, except in Cases of Impeachment.

    He shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law: but the Congress may by Law vest the Appointment of such inferior Officers, as they think proper, in the President alone, in the Courts of Law, or in the Heads of Departments.

    The President shall have Power to fill up all Vacancies that may happen during the Recess of the Senate, by granting Commissions which shall expire at the End of their next Session.

    Section 3 - State of the Union, Convening Congress

    He shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient; he may, on extraordinary Occasions, convene both Houses, or either of them, and in Case of Disagreement between them, with Respect to the Time of Adjournment, he may adjourn them to such Time as he shall think proper; he shall receive Ambassadors and other public Ministers; he shall take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed, and shall Commission all the Officers of the United States.

    Section 4 - Disqualification

    The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Article III. - The Judicial Branch Note
    Section 1 - Judicial powers

    The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behavior, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services a Compensation which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

    Section 2 - Trial by Jury, Original Jurisdiction, Jury Trials

    (The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority; to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls; to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction; to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party; to Controversies between two or more States; between a State and Citizens of another State; between Citizens of different States; between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.) (This section in parentheses is modified by Amendment XI.)

    In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

    The Trial of all Crimes, except in Cases of Impeachment, shall be by Jury; and such Trial shall be held in the State where the said Crimes shall have been committed; but when not committed within any State, the Trial shall be at such Place or Places as the Congress may by Law have directed.

    Section 3 - Treason Note

    Treason against the United States, shall consist only in levying War against them, or in adhering to their Enemies, giving them Aid and Comfort. No Person shall be convicted of Treason unless on the Testimony of two Witnesses to the same overt Act, or on Confession in open Court.

    The Congress shall have power to declare the Punishment of Treason, but no Attainder of Treason shall work Corruption of Blood, or Forfeiture except during the Life of the Person attainted.


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Article IV. - The States
    Section 1 - Each State to Honor all others

    Full Faith and Credit shall be given in each State to the public Acts, Records, and judicial Proceedings of every other State. And the Congress may by general Laws prescribe the Manner in which such Acts, Records and Proceedings shall be proved, and the Effect thereof.

    Section 2 - State citizens, Extradition

    The Citizens of each State shall be entitled to all Privileges and Immunities of Citizens in the several States.

    A Person charged in any State with Treason, Felony, or other Crime, who shall flee from Justice, and be found in another State, shall on demand of the executive Authority of the State from which he fled, be delivered up, to be removed to the State having Jurisdiction of the Crime.

    (No Person held to Service or Labour in one State, under the Laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in Consequence of any Law or Regulation therein, be discharged from such Service or Labour, But shall be delivered up on Claim of the Party to whom such Service or Labour may be due.) (This clause in parentheses is superseded by Amendment XIII.)

    Section 3 - New States

    New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.

    The Congress shall have Power to dispose of and make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property belonging to the United States; and nothing in this Constitution shall be so construed as to Prejudice any Claims of the United States, or of any particular State.

    Section 4 - Republican government

    The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against Invasion; and on Application of the Legislature, or of the Executive (when the Legislature cannot be convened) against domestic Violence.
    Nevada-tan > Chuck Norris > You


  18. #18
    Hinata-Sou Resident BobCat's Avatar
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  19. #19
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    lol....

    here's my hw for English… I have a pretty relaxed teacher so he would find it amusing :

    Most Important Creation of Humankind:

    In the last fifty years.
    5. Instant Food/MRE’s
    4. Velcro
    3. Nintendo
    2. Credit Cards
    1. Automatic Flushing Toilets



    In the last hundred years:
    5. Magic Fingers Bed Relaxation System
    4. Teflon
    3. Teddy Bears
    2. Pop-up Toaster
    1. Crayons



    In the last five-hundred years:
    5. Dynamite
    4. Soccer
    3. Buckminsterfullerenes (Buckyballs)
    2. Carbonated Drinks
    1. Milk Chocolate

  20. #20
    Flashman
    Guest
    Dear Madam or Sir,
    Re: Inquiry into Legal Aid and Access to Justice
    Terms of Reference
    The capacity of current legal aid and access to justice arrangements to meet the community need for legal assistance, including:
    (a) the performance of current arrangements in achieving national equity and uniform access to justice across Australia, including in outer-metropolitan, regional, rural and remote areas;

    (b) the implications of current arrangements in particular types of matters, including criminal law matters, family law matters and civil law matters; and
    (c) the impact of current arrangements on the wider community, including community legal services, pro bono legal services, court and tribunal services and levels of self-representation.
    This is a submission from the Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre, in response to the Senate Inquiry into Legal Aid and Access to Justice.

    The Northern Rivers Community Legal Centre was established in 1996 under the Commonwealth Government’s Access To Justice Statement, providing both a Generalist Legal Service as well as a specific Rural Women’s Outreach Program, in recognition of the particular difficulties experienced by women in accessing legal services in rural areas. We are funded by the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, Family Law and Legal Aid Division under its Community Legal Services Funding Program. We do not receive funding from the NSW Government.

    We employ two solicitors, a part-time coordinator and a part-time administrator. We rely on over thirty volunteers (legal, court support and administrative) to extend the services we provide. Last year we assisted over 4,400 people, provided legal advice to 927 clients, undertook 100 cases and conducted 18 community legal education sessions.

    We are located in Lismore, the regional centre of Northern NSW. Our clients are drawn from a population base of some 300,000 people living along the coastal strip from Grafton to Tweed Heads and inland to Tabulam to the Queensland border. It is one of the fastest growing areas in Australia ( 4.1%pa population growth) and has a large population of families with young children ( 23.1%). Single parent families make up 18.6%, of all families well above the NSW figure of 15.5%. Ninety-two per cent of our clients are on low incomes. Unemployment is high at 12.9%. The Vinson Report (1999) into social disadvantage, “Unequal in life” rated our post codes as amongst the most disadvantaged in NSW.

    Our public transport system is virtually non-existent outside the major towns, making access to health, welfare and legal services difficult for the many individuals who do not have access to private transport.

    For the thirteen Indigenous communities of this region, limited access to legal assistance is a serious barrier to social justice.

    Our submission will comment on the three terms of reference, from a rural, regional and remote perspective.

    (a) Access to Justice for regional, rural and remote areas
    The current arrangements for achieving national equity and uniform access to justice do not meet the legal assistance needs of rural, regional and remote communities. There are significant gaps in the provision of legal aid and pro bono services in rural NSW.

    1. Geographic distance to legal services
    Our Northern Rivers region is a good example of the need for improved access to legal assistance for rural residents. Our region of some 300,000 people covers the far North Coast of NSW, with three large towns, (Grafton, Lismore, and Tweed Heads) approximately 100 kms apart. The Regional Legal Aid Commission office, Community Legal Centre and Aboriginal Legal Service are all located in the central town of Lismore. The public transport between these towns is extremely limited; it can take the better part of a day to travel to and from Lismore. Between these towns are small townships and numerous villages. For all village residents, the daily school bus run is the only means of public transport. For the more remote Indigenous communities, the only transport is the community bus and individuals must negotiate for the limited space available. For people living on isolated rural properties, the lack of reliable private transport available to all family members is a major issue in accessing legal services.

    Even for residents with reliable private transport, the local road network is notorious, having some of the most dangerous roads in the state. The topography and climate present real challenges for reliable access to service towns. During the wet season period – November to April, roads can become unsafe within minutes, due to the vast volumes of water in our river systems and the many low lying bridges that cross our roads. Minor flooding occurs frequently during the wet season, often resulting in cancelled and missed appointments. It can also seriously hamper the ability of the Centre’s solicitors to provide Outreach Services.

    Tweed Heads and Grafton –losers in the tyranny of distance
    Tweed Heads is at the northern-most point of our catchment area, with a population of 74,380 and with a 4.18% growth rate, and one of the most rapidly expanding areas in Australia. The rapid growth rate has not been matched by provision of services. There is no Legal Aid office or Community Legal Centre in the Tweed area. Residents of this border town also experience the added complexity of being resident in area where both NSW and Qld laws may apply to their daily lives. Private solicitors, in order to run a viable practice, must be registered in both states and have knowledge of both jurisdictions.

    Our Centre does not have the expertise to provide cross-border advice, nor the financial resources to dual-register and train solicitors in Queensland law. We can therefore only provide a limited service to Tweed residents. Our Outreach Program does not reach beyond Murwillumbah (twenty minutes from Tweed Heads) and most of our Tweed clients (1.3 % of all Centre clients) obtain advice by telephone. It is quite obvious from these figures that Tweed residents are underutilising Lismore-based legal services. In recognition of the need for a physical presence in the largest town on the Far North Coast, Lismore Legal Aid is trialling a 12 month outreach service to the Tweed.

    We recommend that given Tweed Head’s large and growing population and the need for a service that can provide both NSW and Qld legal advice, that the Commonwealth fund the establishment of a Tweed-based Legal Aid office or Community Legal Centre.

    Grafton is at the southern tip of our catchment area and has a population of 16,704. Only 1.1% of our clients are from the Grafton area, the majority accessing the service via our telephone advice service. The local Lismore Legal Aid office is expected to provide a service to Grafton, but without the resources for either a telephone advice service or an outreach, Grafton clients must travel the 130 kms to the Lismore Legal Aid office for advice. It is extremely likely that most Grafton area residents in need of legal assistance do not know about the services available or are unable to access either our Centre or Lismore Legal Aid.

    Without the physical presence of a legal service, residents of these large towns are often unaware the legal assistance available in Lismore. Both towns also suffer from a paucity of welfare services that are often a key point for referrals to legal services.



    Strategies to overcome geographic barriers:
    The Community Legal Centre, in an attempt to address the problems of physical access to legal assistance, has undertaken two main strategies; physical outreach services to targeted areas within the region and the provision of telephone legal advice. Due to extremely inadequate funding, our Centre struggles to maintain an outreach service to local towns. We are also cautious in the advertising of our 1800 Freecall number, due to budget constraints.

    Outreach Services
    The Centre has been providing a Northern Rivers Regional Legal Outreach Program for the last seven years. Both our Generalist and our Rural Women’s Outreach Services operate outreaches to the smaller towns in the region. At present we operate outreaches to: Maclean, Ballina, Byron Bay, Nimbin, Mullumbimby and Murwillumbah. With greater financial assistance we would be able to extend our outreach program to Grafton and Tweed Heads. At present the travel time and costs makes it uneconomic for us to provide such a service.

    Solicitors conduct an outreach session one day per week, across the region, providing legal advice, information and referral and on pre-arranged occasions, conducting a community legal education session. We rely on the goodwill of local welfare agencies to provide free accommodation. The solicitor has limited access to office equipment, and does not have access to a landline telephone. Free community space is at a premium, with many welfare services competing for cheap office space. Each year there is a real risk that we will lose our free space as it becomes more difficult for community agencies to find affordable accommodation. We do not have the funds to pay for outreach accommodation.

    The Outreach Service has proven to be immensely popular, especially for women and older clients who often rely on public transport and have limited mobility. Unfortunately, we can only afford to visit each town once per month, which is insufficient to meet demand, with most clients having to wait too long to see a solicitor. The Lismore Legal Aid Office has recently received one-off 12 months funding to provide outreach services to towns in the Ballina, Byron and Tweed Shires in recognition of the need for more outreach services.

    We consider that outreach services, operating from regionally-based legal service, are an effective and resource efficient method of providing access to justice for people living in smaller rural population centres. We recommend that additional Commonwealth funding be made available to extend outreach services to all towns in rural NSW.

    Regional Telephone Legal Advice Service
    Our Community Legal Centre is the only local legal service that provides telephone advice. By client choice, the majority of our advices are given by telephone where no outreach service is available. Once again inadequate funding means that most clients wait an average of two weeks to obtain telephone advice unless they are successful in obtaining advice during our (no advance bookings taken) Wednesday morning Phone Clinic. Clients receiving telephone advice are then offered (where appropriate) follow-up advice, information, referral, casework and access to the Centre’s community legal education program.

    Rural clients are reluctant to use Metropolitan-based Telephone Advice Lines. Many clients complain that they are on ‘call waiting’ for so long that they give up, others advise that a solicitor is not always available, and that in some instances, are given poor or inappropriate referrals due to lack of knowledge of local rural services. In one case, a client experiencing domestic violence was referred to the Country Women’s Association for assistance! We field numerous ‘out of area’ inquiries due to the poor geographic knowledge of many city-based services.

    Rural clients would be best served by a local regional telephone legal advice service that has understanding of its client base, can provide a holistic service and has a thorough knowledge of local geography and services for referral purposes.

    Video-Conferencing- Strategy for the future
    Many residents in our region now have access to video-conferencing facilities in their local Community Technology Centres. At present we do not have the resources to establish a video-conferencing legal advice service, but this is an obvious strategy for improved access to legal assistance. This is a technology that has become more affordable over the last few years, and has been trialled successfully by Toowoomba Community Legal Centre in a Qld Legal Aid funded pilot program.

    Video-Conferencing would significantly improve access to legal assistance for the more remote communities (provided they had access to Community Technology Centres). The Centre would save on travel time and costs, and we would be able to extend our advice service to areas currently beyond our reach.

    2. Inadequate Funding for Regional, Rural and Remote Legal Services
    Our Community Legal Centre is under constant financial pressure due to significant under-funding. We receive no recurrent State funding and only $238,480 p.a in Commonwealth funding to operate a large regional service, of which $64,835 is specifically to provide a Rural Women’s Legal Outreach Program. It is self-evident that $64,835 does not cover a solicitor’s salary and on-costs (worker’s compensation, superannuation, leave entitlements) and certainly does not cover the transport costs, administration, office supplies and venue hire required to operate an outreach program. The National Association of Community Legal Centre has estimated that our Community Legal Centre needs an additional $80,000 p.a to operate at an appropriate level of service delivery.

    The current Commonwealth Community Legal Services Funding formula does not provide a rural loading to cover the increased travel costs to outreaches, nor for the operation of a 1800 Freecall number or for the higher expenditure on STD telephone calls. Most of our telephone advice sessions are to clients outside the local call area and solicitors must spend lengthy periods of time advising clients during times of peak STD rates.

    Insufficient outreach funding means that we must rely on the goodwill of local community agencies to make free office space and equipment available for our solicitors to interview clients. Often the solicitor must provide confidential advice in less than ideal conditions, without access to land line phones and without administrative assistance. Due to the part-time nature of many rural services, the solicitor may only have access to office space on days when the host agency is unstaffed. This can lead to serious concerns for the safety of our female solicitor.

    The Centre now has to cope with an additional strain on its finances. The Federal Government has refused to provide additional funding to cover the increased salary costs resulting from the provisions of the new NSW Social and Community Services Award. This has jeopardised the continued existence of Commonwealth funded Community Legal Centres in rural NSW. The NSW Government has provided one-off emergency funding to cover our $20,000 salary budget blow out, but we have no guarantees beyond the 2004 funding year.

    As a matter of urgency, we urge the Commonwealth Government to provide a substantial increase in funding to its Community Legal Services Program. Rural legal services should receive an additional loading to cover the extra travel and telecommunication costs incurred in servicing large country areas.

    3. Access to Justice for Special Needs Groups
    Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders
    On all social and economic indicators, Indigenous Australians living in rural areas experience extreme disadvantage. In 1998, our Centre conducted a legal needs analysis for Aboriginal women living in the thirteen Indigenous communities in our catchment area. Many of the findings are equally applicable to Indigenous men. The resulting “Mabourah Dubay- Access To Law Report” informs our service delivery to Aboriginal communities. The Report makes familiar but depressing reading.

    The report found that Aboriginal women living in rural areas access legal aid and community legal centre services in low numbers because of:
    • lack of awareness of legal assistance services
    • limited access to transport to attend appointments
    • lack of a telephone to access phone advice services
    • fear of ‘the law’
    • lack of knowledge of legal rights
    • culturally inappropriate service delivery
    • fear of experiencing discrimination and racism
    • community disapproval if seen to be complaining about partners or family members
    • lack of Indigenous staff

    The local Aboriginal Legal Service operates a criminal law practice, but does not have funding to provide civil or family law assistance. Accordingly, mainstream legal services must fill the gap. Lismore Legal Aid provides a half day civil advice outreach at the Lismore Aboriginal Legal Service and is developing an outreach program to Indigenous communities.

    Our Centre has made Aboriginal women’s access to justice a key priority. We have obtained funding from a variety of sources to run community development programs to improve the Centre’s service delivery to Indigenous clients. Since 1998, we have operated an Aboriginal Women’s Project with the target of improving access to justice for Indigenous women. These projects have included; Aboriginal community outreaches (unsuccessful due to client confidentiality fears), community legal education programs including the production of locally scripted and acted legal education videos, targeted casework including victims compensation and discrimination, family violence awareness programs and employment of Indigenous staff.

    Although 10% of our clients identify as Indigenous (out of an Indigenous population base of 3.1%), we consider that further improvements can only be made with a recurrently funded Aboriginal Specialist position, through the Commonwealth’s Community Legal Services Funding Program. Without recurrent funding, we cannot adopt a comprehensive strategic service delivery plan, make ongoing commitments to Indigenous communities, or guarantee employment longevity for Indigenous staff working on improving access to justice for Indigenous communities.

    Women
    In 1995, the Commonwealth Government released its Justice Statement, based on its Parliamentary Inquiry into access to justice. An important finding was that rural women experience significant barriers in accessing justice.

    Those barriers remain the same eight years later;
    • rural women are more likely than men to be on low incomes or Centrelink payments due to carer obligations and limited employment opportunities in rural industries and therefore more reliant on legal aid services, which are scarce in rural areas
    • the low number of private practitioners in rural areas which increases the risk of client conflict of interest in family law matters, often with the woman losing access to the solicitor rather than the full-cost paying man
    • rural women are less mobile, often having limited access to transport to attend legal services in distant towns
    • fewer female lawyers in rural areas

    Our Centre was funded as a result of the Justice Statement. Specific funding was granted to establish and operate a Rural Women’s Outreach Program to address the above barriers.

    Our Rural Women’s Outreach Program;
    • provides a women-only advice, information, referral, casework and community legal education service
    • employs only female solicitors (with Anti-discrimination Board approval)
    • operates as many outreaches in townships throughout the region as is possible with the limited funding available
    • provides a women’s only weekly telephone advice service

    Unfortunately, there is still significant unmet need. Women in Casino, Kyogle, Nimbin, Tweed Heads, Grafton, and Byron Bay (approximately 50,000 women residents) do not have access to Rural Women’s’ Outreach in their town. This is particularly problematic in the smaller towns which have few if any female solicitors and only one or two practices.

    Provision of casework and representation (particularly in the area of family law- the most common reason why women seek legal advice) is another significant area of unmet need. More and more private solicitors are withdrawing from legal aid work, arguing that that it is no longer economically viable to undertake such matters.

    Our Rural Women’s’ Outreach Program can only undertake limited casework due to a severe lack of funding, and so most women are only able to receive an advice service. Even where women are eligible for legal aid, there may be no private practitioner prepared to take on the matter for her. This is especially problematic in the Tweed region, where there is now only one practitioner in one legal firm who is prepared to undertake family law legal aid work. The Lismore Legal Aid office is attempting to remedy this problem by providing two additional solicitors to operate Family Law Outreaches and undertake Duty Solicitor representation in Tweed Heads. Those two additional positions, however, are part of a 12 month pilot, with no guarantee of recurrent funding.

    People from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds
    Although our region has a lower percentage of people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds (being 2.9% of the North Coast population) than metropolitan centres, this in itself creates a major barrier for access to justice for people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds. Due to the small population, there are no welfare or legal services for people from culturally diverse backgrounds. There is only a two day a week service assisting very recent immigrants to settle in the North Coast region.

    Most legal service providers do not have access to cross-cultural training to better understand the requirements of culturally sensitive service delivery. The needs of this group are ‘below the radar’ for most government departments, agencies and community services and legal practitioners in this region.

    Our Centre includes this client group amongst its target ground for special assistance, but we have such limited funds that we are unable to provide extensive assistance. We have only recently been able to afford the costs of translating our service pamphlet into community languages.

    The seven thousand residents of the North Coast who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse originate from a wide variety of ethnic backgrounds. Other than the Italian-Australian community which settled over several generations from 1900 onwards, there are no large established ethnic groups in the region. Instead we have numerous small groupings; Indian Sikhs who immigrated to work on the banana plantations, Filipino women marrying into Anglo-Australian families, small influxes of refugees from Africa, South America and South-East Asia, and Northern Europeans travelling on the hippy trail, falling in love with our climate and alternate lifestyle.

    Accordingly, it is very hard to assess the barriers to justice for this disparate range of clients. The legal problems presented to our Centre by such clients include; discrimination, domestic violence, family law and employment issues. We know that for many migrant groups there is a reluctance to seek out assistance in relation to domestic violence and family law issues. Many clients are unaware that exploitation and harassment in employment, under-Award payments and discrimination in obtaining employment are legally actionable.

    Access to interpreters is one of the most obvious barriers for this group of rural residents. We encounter instances where solicitors do not use qualified interpreters, relying on friends and family to communicate complex legal information. Most practitioners are unaware of telephone interpreter services, or may be reluctant to use them.

    Where an interpreter is required for a face to face interview, it can take several weeks before an interpreter becomes available. Most interpreters must be flown in from Sydney, as there are virtually no accredited legal interpreters in our region.

    There are many examples of interpreters failing to be booked for, or attending court hearings, or police interviews. It is often difficult to discover whether it is due to a lack of organisation skill or care by the court staff or police, or whether city-based interpreting services place a low priority on rural service delivery.

    We recommend that a legal needs analysis be conducted for rural people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in order to determine their access to justice requirements.


    (b) the implications of current arrangements in particular types of matters, including criminal law matters, family law matters and civil law matters; and


    (b) Rural Residents and Particular types of matters
    The implications of the current legal aid and access to justice arrangements are:

    Family law
    As noted above, there are significant problems for rural client in accessing legal assistance in family law matters. They are as follows:

    • Withdrawal of many rural private solicitors from providing family law legal aid assistance. Solicitors complain that the legal aid grants received do not provide sufficient remuneration for the legal work undertaken.

    • In the Tweed region, only one private solicitor in one practice is prepared to undertake family law legal aid work. Legal Aid has attempted to redress this problem by employing two additional solicitors to undertake Family Law Outreaches and Duty Solicitor work in the Tweed region. This is only for a twelve month pilot project.

    • Lismore Legal Aid covers the Grafton region, but its Family Law Outreaches do not extend below Ballina, leaving clients no alternative other than to travel for over 100kms to obtain assistance from Lismore or Coffs Harbour Legal Aid.

    • The Lismore Legal Aid office does not provide telephone advice.

    • In Lismore, the legal hub of the region, with the only Family Court Registry north of Newcastle, (other than a sub-registry at Coffs Harbour) many private practitioners have ceased family law legal aid work.

    • Of the few practices that continue to undertake legal aid work, it is generally the most junior and inexperienced solicitor who takes on legal aid clients. Legal aid family law caseloads can be as high as 220 active matters. As a consequence, legally aided clients regularly seek advice from our Centre complaining about poor service. Clients often complain that they have little confidence that their matter is receiving the appropriate level of professional care, limited time spent with the solicitor to discuss their matter, errors in documents, poor preparation for court and being pressured to accept unsuitable outcomes.

    • The Aboriginal Legal Service does not provide family law assistance.

    Like most Community Legal Centres since the significant reduction in the Commonwealth Legal Aid budget in 1996, we have found that the majority of our clients seek advice on family law matters. Community Legal Centres cannot continue to try and meet the gap in family law legal aid services. We do not have the resources (legal. paralegal, secretarial and administrative) to provide more than an advice service for most clients. We cannot undertake the resource-intensive area of family law litigation. Accordingly, most clients are given advice and then referred on to Legal Aid or private solicitors who undertake legal aid family law casework. This is an inefficient service and results in client dissatisfaction. From August 2003, we have decided to withdraw from providing family law assistance and instead refer clients directly to legal aid for assistance.

    There is an urgent need to reassess the level of family law legal aid payments to rural practitioners to encourage more solicitors to return to legal aid work. Regional Legal Aid offices must also be funded to employ more family law solicitors to undertake outreach, casework and duty solicitor services, so that rural clients can obtain assistance in towns where there are no private practitioners willing to undertake legal aid work.

    Civil law
    In our region there is limited access to legal aid assistance for civil law matters. The Lismore Legal Aid office provides one civil advice session per fortnight, as well as a civil law outreach once per week to the Aboriginal Legal Service. The Aboriginal Legal Service does not provide civil law assistance.

    We provide on average, twenty civil law appointments per week, but this is still insufficient for a large region of some three hundred thousand people. We do not have the resources to undertake the volume of civil casework that is identified in client advice sessions. Many of our clients present with debt, consumer, victim’s compensation and discrimination matters, most of which are unlikely to attract legal aid or interest private practitioners.

    We have had to prioritise the civil law casework undertaken, due to our limited resources. We have focused over the last few years on complex victim’s compensation matters, especially in the areas of sexual and domestic assault. These matters often take considerable preparation time, clients are often deeply traumatised and evidentiary requirements can be difficult to meet without extensive gathering of documentary materials from police, counsellors etc. Most private solicitors would not undertake this work for the $840 maximum fee.

    We also undertake discrimination matters where there is likely to be little or no financial return for the client or the solicitor. In most instances, the matter is pursued because of the nature or the circumstances of the discrimination, and an apology or a change of policy or practice is the resolution.

    Case studies include:

    Several Aboriginal women attending a services club bingo night, referred to by the bingo caller as “gorillas in the mist”. After we pursued the matter, a small sum of money was given in compensation, the caller was disciplined and the club apologised and agreed to include anti-discrimination training to all employees.

    A deaf candidate for a position in a disability service was not provided, as requested, with an Auslan interpreter for the interview. He was unable to lip read very well and could not fully understand the questions. He did not get the job. We took the matter on the client received several thousand dollars compensation and an apology.

    There is an urgent need to extend the provision of civil law legal assistance. Legal Aid must receive additional funding in order to undertake civil matters in-house in situations where there is little or no financial incentive for private practitioners to act.
    (c) the impact of current arrangements on the wider community, including community legal services, pro bono legal services, court and tribunal services and levels of self-representation.

    Impact on community legal services
    We have addressed the impact on community legal services whilst discussing issues in the previous terms of reference.

    Pro bono services
    Rural law practices are often struggling to survive financially and many are unable to provide pro bono services. Most rural firms are small, with only two or three staff and do not have resources to provide pro bono assistance. In the Lismore district, local private practitioners participate in our Thursday Evening volunteer legal advice sessions, as well as a weekly legal advice session at the Lismore Neighbourhood Centre. One practice provides free legal advice to the residents of the local Women’s Refuge.

    Given that the larger city firms have established and well resourced pro bono sections, we recommend that those firms be encouraged to extend their pro bono programs to country areas. An example of this is the pro bono work undertaken by the Sydney law firm, Gilbert and Tobin, in the NSW North –Western town of Walgett.

    ………………………………………… ………………………………………… …………

    Recommendations

    1. We recommend that funding be granted for the establishment of a Tweed-based Legal Aid office or Community Legal Centre, given the Tweed’s s large and growing population and the need for a service that can provide both NSW and Qld legal advice.

    2. We consider that outreach services, operating from regionally-based legal services, are an effective and resource efficient method of providing access to justice for people living in smaller rural population centres. We recommend that additional Commonwealth funding be made available to extend outreach services to all towns in rural NSW.

    3. Rural clients would be best served by a local regional telephone legal advice service that has an understanding of its client base, can provide a holistic service and has a thorough understanding of local geography and services for referral purposes.

    4. Video-Conferencing would significantly improve access to legal assistance for the more remote communities (provided they had access to Community Technology Centres). Legal Services would save on travel time and costs, and would be able to extend their advice services to areas currently beyond reach.

    5. As a matter of urgency, we urge the Commonwealth Government to provide a substantial increase in funding to its Community Legal Services Program. Rural legal services should be receive an additional loading to cover the extra travel and telecommunication costs incurred in servicing large country areas.

    6. We recommend that rural Legal Services receive funding to create an Indigenous Specialist position, through the Commonwealth’s Community Legal Services Funding Program. This position would focus on the access to justice needs for rural Indigenous communities.

    7. We recommend that a legal needs analysis be conducted for rural people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds in order to determine their access to justice requirements.

    8. There is an urgent need to reassess the level of legal aid payments to rural practitioners to encourage more solicitors to return to family law legal aid work. Regional Legal Aid offices must be funded to employ more family law solicitors to undertake outreach, casework and duty solicitor services, so that rural clients can obtain advice and assistance in towns where there are no private practitioners willing to undertake legal aid work.

    9. There is an urgent need to extend the provision of civil law legal assistance. Legal Aid must receive additional funding in order to undertake civil matters in-house in situations where there is little or no incentive for private practitioners to act.

    10. Given that the larger city firms have established and well resourced pro bono sections, we recommend that those firms be encouraged to extend their pro bono programs to country areas.

    I actually had this on my computer

 

 
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