The New Zealand Bar Association says the clearing house move is “a significant milestone for access to justice” but it also believes that it needs to be a part of the wider access for justice developments and not a replacement for legal aid.
“The pro-bono clearing house will increase access to free legal assistance and support people who cannot afford a lawyer by matching them with lawyers who are offering their services for free,” it says. “The need for this is likely to be even greater and more urgent in the next 12 months, given the impact of COVID-19 on employment, housing, debt, family, immigration, mental health and a range of other social issues.
“These matters will all inevitably overlap with legal issues and many will not be able to afford legal advice or will struggle to meet legal aid criteria.
If you are in need of free legal help, please contact Community Law Waikato on 0800 529 482.
For more information about this article please visit https://www.lawsociety.org.nz/practice-resources/the-business-of-law/access-to-justice/pro-bono-clearing-house-it-may-make-a-difference-but-is-it-the-answer