The Legal Law

Legal Aid NSW helps people with their legal problems

The role of Legal Aid
Legal Aid NSW provides legal services to disadvantaged clients across NSW in most areas of criminal, family and civil law. Legal Aid NSW helps people with their legal problems. The legal services include legal advice, help at court and family dispute resolution. They can help in most areas of criminal law, family law and civil law.

What Legal Advice
A lawyer will give you one-off free legal advice about your issue. They might be able to provide help with simple documents if you do not have a lawyer. They will not be able to help you with complex legal documents.

Who is eligible for Legal?
Anyone can be eligible for legal advice.

An example of a success story

People smuggling matters

Legal Aid NSW is representing alleged people smugglers after granting aid in 105 matters. Many are being acquitted in NSW after a year in immigration detention and on remand.

One of our clients Maynanse is from an impoverished community in a remote part of the Indonesian archipelago, surviving on subsistence farming and fishing. He was recruited by agents of people smuggling networks who come to the bigger villages offering work on fishing boats for large sums of money. The captain stopped the boat out at sea so people could board, then told Maynanse the job had changed and he now had to take the boat to Christmas Island, which Maynanse believed to be an Indonesian island.

The captain disembarked and six hours later called Maynanse instructing him to follow the GPS coordinates which would in fact take the boat to Australia. Maynanse was terrified and outnumbered by passengers who did not want to turn back. He felt he had no choice but to continue the journey.

At trial, Maynanse argued that the phone call at sea amounted to a ‘sudden or extraordinary emergency’, and that committing the offence was the only reasonable choice he had. The jury accepted Maynanse’s defence, and he was acquitted after a lengthy trial.