Client Service Delivery Standards
The NT Legal Aid Commission (“NT Legal Aid”) is committed to providing a quality service to all customers, as outlined in this Charter.
To ensure that people in the NT, particularly those who are disadvantaged, understand and have access to quality services to protect and enforce their legal rights and interests.
Who we assist
NT Legal Aid provides legal information, community education and advice services to assist all people living in the NT. We also provide representation services in some matters to help people if they meet our means test. People living outside the NT, but still in Australia, who have a legal problem in the NT can also receive assistance.
How to contact us
NT Legal Aid can be contacted by telephone on 1800 019 343 for the cost of a local call from any land line in the NT.
We provide services from 5 offices across the NT as well as to outreach locations such as courts, prisons, partner services and specified Indigenous communities. Legal advice can also be provided by phone.
- Provide assistance in a courteous, timely, reliable and professional manner.
- Explain our services and how the client can use them.
- Discuss the client’s legal problem and help them understand their options including the availability of legal aid.
- Actively listen to the client, treat them as an individual and try to meet their particularl needs by:
o using an interpreter when appropriate
o ensuring our service delivery is sensitive and culturally appropriate to clients from non-English speaking and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander backgrounds
o enquiring about domestic violence where applicable and ensuring the client’s safety is a priority
o Use language the client can understand.
- Provide clients with accurate and appropriate information and advice.
- Ensure the client’s confidentiality.
We owe a duty of confidentiality to our clients. Section 55 of the Legal Aid Act (1990) prevents any information being disclosed about a person who has accessed the services of the Commission except for the purposes of providing those services. Commission staff may discuss a client matter with a third party only if the client has provided consent.
Mandatory reporting laws in the Northern Territory override the Legal Aid Act and apply to Commission staff in regard to:
- child protection;
- domestic violence
Commission staff must report if they receive information leading them to believe that:
- there is domestic violence which poses a serious threat to a person; or
- a child under 18 has or is likely to suffer harm or exploitation;
and this has not already been reported.
Conflict of Interest
NT Legal Aid has procedures in place to ensure that the identification and management of conflicts of interests occurs and to ensure that solicitors employed by NT Legal Aid do not represent any other party who has interests different to a current or previous client who is or has been represented by a solicitor employed by the Commission.
NT Legal Aid is committed to ensuring clients have access to information they are entitled to. Information can be requested through the NT Legal Aid Information Officer by submitting a request through the website or calling 1800 019 343.
NT Legal Aid can arrange for the independent review of decisions which refuse a person legal aid or impose conditions on a grant of aid.
NT Legal Aid is interested in what you think of its services and how it might improve them. We seek your input in the following ways:
- customer comment forms at customer service counters
- through our regular client surveys.
All complaints received are recorded and dealt with by following our Complaints Procedures which can be found here.
We want to continue to improve, so we welcome your feedback and invite you to complete a comment form at your NT Legal Aid office or through our website.