Our vision

A fair and just society where rights and responsibilities are upheld.

Our purpose

To make a difference in the lives of our clients and for the community by:

  • resolving and preventing legal problems
  • encouraging a fair and transparent justice system.

Our values

Fairness

We stand up for what is fair.

We aim to be fair when making choices about which people we help and how we help them.

Care

We care about our clients and the community in which we live.

We look out for and take care of each other.

Courage

We act with courage backed by evidence about what is best for clients and the community.

We act with courage to be the best we can be.

Our functions

Victoria Legal Aid is an independent statutory authority established under the Legal Aid Act 1978 (Vic). We are funded by Commonwealth and Victorian governments but operate independently of government.

Our statutory objectives are to:

  • provide legal aid in the most effective, economic and efficient manner
  • manage resources to make legal aid available at a reasonable cost to the community and on an equitable basis throughout the state
  • provide to the community improved access to justice and legal remedies
  • pursue innovative means of providing legal aid directed at minimising the need for individual legal services in the community.

In so doing, we may:

  • co-operate with social service or social welfare organisations
  • undertake research
  • make recommendations to reform the law
  • carry out educational programs
  • provide financial assistance to voluntary legal aid bodies.

In performing our functions, we must:

  • ensure that legal aid is provided in a manner which dispels fear and distrust
  • establish any local offices considered appropriate and generally use best endeavours to make legal aid available throughout the state
  • determine priorities around who gets legal aid and guidelines for the allocation of work between staff and private practitioners
  • co-operate with other legal aid commissions and professional associations to facilitate the use of services provided by private legal practitioners
  • make maximum use of services which private legal practitioners offer to provide on a voluntary basis
  • endeavour to secure the services of interpreters, counsellors, welfare officers and other appropriate persons to assist people where necessary
  • inform the public of the services we provide and the conditions on which those services are provided
  • encourage and permit law students to participate on a voluntary basis and under professional supervision in the provision of legal aid
  • manage the Legal Aid Fund.

Public benefit

We work to address the barriers that prevent people from accessing the justice system by participating in reforms and ensuring the actions of government agencies are held to account. We serve the broader community by providing information, legal advice and education with a focus on the prevention and early resolution of legal problems, and legal representation to those who need it the most.