Submissions to the National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-2025 (NLAP) review

Closed 27 Oct 2023

Opened 16 Aug 2023

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


The National Legal Assistance Partnership 2020-2025 (NLAP) is an agreement of more than $2.4 billion between the Australian Government and all states and territories to fund legal assistance services. The NLAP provides funding to Legal Aid Commissions (LACs), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS), and Community Legal Centres (CLCs) to provide legal assistance to Australia’s most vulnerable people.

Under Clause 81 of the NLAP, an independent review must be conducted to assess how well the partnership has achieved its objectives, outcomes, and outputs. The findings of this review then inform decisions about future funding agreements for legal assistance services.

In June 2023, the Commonwealth Attorney-General appointed Dr Warren Mundy to lead the review of the NLAP. The review’s terms of reference outline 3 focus areas:

  1. A comprehensive assessment of legal needs and all Commonwealth legal assistance funding.
  2. An evaluation of the effectiveness and challenges faced in the delivery of legal assistance services.
  3. An evaluation of data collection, performance monitoring, and reporting processes.

On 18 August 2023, Dr Mundy released an issues paper inviting public submissions to the review by 27 October 2023. On 5 September 2023, Dr Mundy issued an addendum to the issues paper. These submissions have been published here, where we have received permission to do so.

The review concluded on 5 March 2024. The review’s report is expected to be made public within 3 months of the review’s completion.

Who we want to hear from

The review invited submissions from all Australians. In particular, the review was keen to receive submissions from the legal assistance sector, including:

  • Commonwealth, state, and territory governments
  • national and jurisdictional peak legal assistance bodies and service providers
  • individual Legal Aid Commissions (LACs)
  • Community Legal Centres (CLCs)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILSs)
  • Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLSs)
  • the legal profession and their representative bodies.

In addition, the review was interested to hear from organisations that support vulnerable Australians and communities about those peoples’ experiences of the legal assistance sector and how it might better service their needs.


  • Legal system