Mapping changes in the access to civil justice of average Australians: an analysis and empirical survey

Michael Duffy, Andrew Coleman, Matt Nichol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review


The phrase ‘access to justice’ is growing more common in contemporary debates about the Australian civil justice system. This article examines the concept of access to civil justice, why it is important, and the obstacles to achieving it, before reporting the results of an empirical survey on changes in access to civil justice for average Australians. It reports on significant areas of legal problems, their impact, the most popular legal services sought and perceptions of changes in access. This article includes an analysis of perceptions of changes in access including a discussion of effects of innovations such as no-win-no-charge, class actions and thirdparty litigation funding. This article also reports findings on the public desire to be informed of legal rights of action, differences in problems in inner-city, suburban and rural settings as well as the production of index numbers for levels of access in particular legal areas.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)293-342
Number of pages50
JournalAdelaide Law Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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