Legal services and support
On this page:
- Legal support and information services
- Anti-Discrimination NSW
- The Public Defender
- Office of the Legal Services Commissioner
- Campaign launches to Stop Public Threats of violence in NSW
- For more information
In response to COVID-19, arrangements for legal support services are changing to limit face-to-face contact and protect public safety.
For useful information or legal support, you can visit:
- LawAccess: www.lawaccess.nsw.gov.au or call 1300 888 529 between 9am – 5pm, Monday to Friday.
- Legal Aid: To protect public safety during the COVID-19 pandemic Legal Aid is not providing face to face advice or representation to defendants at courts and office doors are closed. You can still seek advice by phone or email to your local Legal Aid office. For further information, including office contact details, please visit the Legal Aid website or call Legal Aid on 1300 888 529.
- Aboriginal Legal Service: keep up-to-date on the ALS website or via the ALS Facebook page.
- Law Society of NSW: www.lawsociety.com.au
Anti-Discrimination NSW (ADNSW)
In response to COVID-19 ADNSW offices are closed and no longer receive face to face enquiries. For free information about discrimination, sexual harassment, vilification and victimisation, contact staff by:
phone: 02 9268 5544
free call: 1800 670 812
The telephone enquiry service is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 1pm and 2pm to 4pm.
The Public Defender
The Public Defenders office remains open with minimal staff. The number of visitors per day is strictly limited. Contact Public Defenders on 9268 3111 for advice on access to the office from 9.00am - 5:00pm.
For information about arrangements in place at courts and tribunals in response to COVID-19, visit the Courts, tribunals and jury service page.
Office of the Legal Services Commissioner (OLSC)
The Office of the Legal Services receives complaints about solicitors and barristers practising in New South Wales.
For more information about the role of this Office, the scope of its powers and for information about frequent complaint issues such as cost disputes, you should visit the Office of the Legal Services Commissioner website at www.olsc.nsw.gov.au.
Due to the evolving COVID-19, the OLSC is operating on reduced staffing levels and remote working by staff, delays may be experienced in processing and handling your complaint and/or responding to your enquiry. If you send correspondence by mail, there may be further delays. Please contact us by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) where possible.
If your email relates to a new inquiry we will contact you as soon as possible.
If your email is about an existing complaint it will be forwarded to your case officer who will contact you in due course.
Campaign launches to Stop Public Threats of violence in NSW
A new campaign developed by Legal Aid NSW has launched in NSW to send a strong and clear message that threatening violence against people based on their race, religion or sexuality is unacceptable.
The Stop Public Threats campaign features a new website, which hosts a podcast, information about the law, multi-lingual resources and links to support services. Videos will be boosted across social media. Legal Aid NSW will also be conducting training with community groups.
The campaign is timely to support a cohesive response to COVID-19 in NSW and to safeguard vulnerable members of the community to understand their legal rights.
Laws were strengthened in NSW to protect against public threats of violence with the introduction of section 93Z to the Crimes Act in 2018. Section 93Z provides for up to three years in prison for those publicly threatening or inciting violence to another on grounds of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, intersex status or HIV/AIDS status.
To read more about the laws and access campaign resources visit the website www.stoppublicthreats.legalaid.nsw.gov.au. You can also read the media release from Attorney General, Mark Speakman, here, and download the factsheet ‘Education campaign launches to Stop Public Threats of violence’.