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Access for women from non-English-speaking backgrounds 

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Legal advice

During the period 2005-06 people from a non-English-speaking background were provided a total of 4,232 legal advices (see Table 6). This represents 8.45% of the legal advices. This is lower than the overall benchmark which is 9% for this target group.

Women from non-English-speaking backgrounds were provided a total of 2,091 legal advices representing 49.40% of the total legal advices to non-English-speaking background people.

Women from non-English-speaking backgrounds received legal advice in the following areas of law:

Family 1,095 (52.36%)
Civil 730 (34.91%)
Criminal 266 (12.72%)
Total 2,091 (100%)

In comparison men from non-English-speaking backgrounds received a total of 2,141 legal advices representing 50.59% of the total legal advices to non-English-speaking background people. These legal advices were provided in the following areas of law:

Family 586 (27.37%)
Civil 695 (32.46%)
Criminal 860 (40.16%)
Total 2,141 (100%)

The figures indicate that during 2005-06 the legal advices to people from non-English-speaking background have remained stable. However the difference from the previous year arises when comparing women and men from non-English-speaking backgrounds. The data shows a decline of women from non-English-speaking backgrounds accessing legal advice in comparison to men from non-English- speaking backgrounds who have a steady increase.

Family law advices have slightly decreased for women from a non-English-speaking background whilst family law advices for men from a non-English-speaking background have increased. Women from a non-English speaking background receive 65.14% of all family law advices provided to people from a non-English-speaking background.

During the year 2005-2006, legal advices for women from non English speaking background in the family law represent 5% of all family law advices and legal advices for women from non-English-speaking background in the civil law represent 5% of all civil law advices. This means that the percentage of women from non-English-speaking background receiving legal advice in the family law is below the benchmark (6% ) and below the benchmark (6%) in the civil law area.

Legal advices provided to women from non-English-speaking backgrounds represent 8.3% of the total advices provided to women, which could be considered positive as only 6.2% of the Queensland female population are from non-English-speaking background countries10. However this figure is below the LAQ benchmark (9%) for this group of women.

Legal advices for women from non-English-speaking background in family law made up 8.13% of all family law advices provided to women, whilst in civil law area they received 9.1% of the civil legal advices provided to women. This means that the percentage of women from non-English-speaking background receiving legal advice in the family law is below the benchmark (9%) and slightly above the benchmark (9%) in the civil law area.

Applications for legal aid by women from non-English-speaking backgrounds

People from a non-English speaking background made 2,498 applications for legal aid, representing 6.41% of the total applications (see Table 6A). This figure is lower than the benchmark (9%) for this target group.

Women from a non-English-speaking background made 1,030 applications representing 41.23% of the total number of applications made by people from non-English-speaking background. Men made 1,468 applications for aid.

The areas of law in which women from non-English-speaking background applied for legal aid were as follows:

Family 532 (51.6%)
Civil 274 (26.6%)
Criminal 224 (21.7%)
Total 1,030 (100%)

In comparison,men from non-English-speaking background applied for legal aid in the following areas:

Family 292 (20%)
Civil 148 (10%)
Criminal 1,028 (70%)
Total 1,468 (100%)

Once again, non-English-speaking women outnumber men in all areas of law except criminal law, however overall men outnumber women.

During the year 2005-06, women from non-English speaking background applications for a grant of aid represent 2.6% of the total number of all applications for a grant of aid. This is considerably lower than the benchmark which is 6% for this target group.

In comparison, women from non-English-speaking background represent 6.96% of the total number of applications received from women. This is considerably lower than the benchmark which is 9% for this target group

Approvals for grants of legal aid for women from non-English-speaking backgrounds

During 2005-06, 1,823 out of 2,498 applications for aid were granted for people from non-English-speaking backgrounds representing a rate of 72.97%. In comparison to last year’s rate, the figure for this group of people is slightly lower than the overall approval rate of 77.44%.

Out of 1,030 applications made by women from a non-English-speaking background 704 were approved, being a rate of 68.34% slightly lower than the previous year. This is also lower than the average rate for women which is 70.99% (see Table 6B).

In comparison out of 1,468 applications made by men from a non-English-speaking background 1,119 were granted aid which is a rate of 76.22%. This is lower than the rate of all applications made by men that were granted aid being 81.38%.

The higher rate of applications made by men from a non-English-speaking background being granted aid in comparison with women from non-English-speaking background can be attributed to higher numbers of applications and grants of aid in criminal law.

However numbers of applications and approvals for women of non-English-speaking backgrounds have slightly increased in comparison to the previous year.

During 2005-06, women from non-English-speaking background represented 2.3% of all approvals. This means that women from non-English-speaking backgrounds have a considerably lower percentage than the benchmark being 6% for this target group.

Women from non-English-speaking backgrounds represented 6.7% of all approvals for women in general. This means that women from non-English-speaking background have a lower percentage than the benchmark being 9% for this target group.

10 provided by Queensland Treasury based on ABS Census 2001


Last modified: 17 February 2010 1:35PM
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Access for women from non-English-speaking backgrounds