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In 2016 SCoA launched the National Settlement Services Outcomes Standards (NSSOS) which provide a basis from which settlement services can strive for the best possible settlement outcomes across nine key areas. Each of these areas is interdependent and thus special attention must be given to ensuring holistic settlement solutions.

The theme of our February 2019 newsletter is justice – one of the nine foundations identified in our NSSOS. It  is achieved when newly arrived communities have access to timely and relevant legal information and advice in their own language.However, we recognise the challenge migrants and new arrivals face in understanding the intricacies of Australia’s legal and justice systems and the role that the settlement sector plays in minimising barriers to access.

This outcome standard recognises the role that settlement service providers play in engaging and supporting migrant and new arrival communities to achieve a level of independence that facilitates effective access to justice.

The purpose of this paper is to identify some of the most pressing barriers to access to justice and identify how to overcome them. This paper was prepared for the Settlement Council of Australia (SCoA) by 2019 intern Neha Prakash with special input from Andrew Cummings, Madi Cooper and Jamila Ahmadi.