There is no legal impediment to Tasmanian Aborigines accessing the same legal assistance as other Tasmanian residents but the practical exclusion of many Aborigines from the criminal justice system resulted in the establishment of Aboriginal Legal Services throughout Australia in the early 1970s. There is an Aboriginal Legal Service in Tasmania operated by the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centreand providing legal aid in a number of areas of law with emphasis on protecting the civil andpolitical rights of the Aboriginal community. The TAC has offices in Hobart, Launceston and Burnie.
A person seeking aid must establish that he or she is eligible for Aboriginal services and that the matter for which aid is sought is within the terms of the Commonwealth’s ‘Policy Directions’. Stamp duty assistance for first home buyers is sometimes available through the Aboriginal Legal Service. Legal assistance is provided through the Aboriginal Legal Service’s retained law firm, Beeton and Mansell. Only if the Aboriginal Legal Service cannot act will the Service meet the costs of providing a private lawyer. Aboriginal people may also seek legal assistance from other bodies offering this. The contact details for the Hobart, Burnie and Launceston offices are available through the Tasmanian Aboriginal Centre website.
Page last updated 13/11/2018