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Abstract from

Access to Justice for Older People in Australia

Susannah Sage-Jacobson is a Lecturer in Australian Administrative Law and is a supervising solicitor in the Clinical program. 

The past decade in Australia has seen renewed policy interest in access to justice. In turn this has highlighted the need for evidence-based research on the legal needs of socially and economically disadvantaged groups. Older persons, or people over the age of 65, have been recog- nised as a distinctly burdened group who are vulnerable to substantial and distinctive legal problems with adverse impacts on their life circumstances. Yet the legal needs of this group remain largely unmet, hidden from the legal service providers and complaint handling bodies. This article provides an overview of recent research on legal needs in Australia and internationally. It explains that there needs to be further targeted empirical research to identify the substantive reasons why older people do not currently enjoy equality before the law. 

(2015) 33(2) Law in Context p142

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