Community Legal Centres
What are Community Legal Centres?
Community Legal Centres are independent community organisations that provide free legal services to the public.
Peninsula Community Legal Centre offers generalist legal advice as well as various specialist programs. A comprehensive description of the services offered can be viewed under (Services ).
Community Legal Centres are able to offer effective and creative solutions to legal matters, whilst drawing on their experience and knowledge of the local community. It is the relationship with the community that distinguishes Community Legal Centres from other legal services.
While providing legal services to individuals, Community Legal Centres also work beyond the individual. Community Legal Centres also initiate community development, community legal education and law reform projects that are preventative in outcome; and aim to strengthen the community they serve.
Community Legal Centres endeavour to collaborate with legal aid and government agencies as well as the private legal profession to ensure the best outcomes for clients and the justice system in Australia.
(as quoted by Federation of Community Legal Centres)
Difference between Community Legal Centres and Victoria Legal Aid
Although both organisations have the same fundamental aims, community legal centres do not have a bureaucratic structure like Victoria Legal Aid, but are run by a committee of management drawn from the local community. As a result, they are able to respond more easily to local issues and are able to assist clients who may not be eligible for legal aid. Community legal centres have their own guidelines to target the assistance they provide. Both organisations offer advice, casework and legal education.