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Legal Education for New Migrants

The Commission has a specialised program for the provision of legal education to people from new and emerging migrant communities. Since 2004, the Commission has worked with migrant communities to meet their legal educational needs and ensure their access to justice.

For people who face the complex challenges of resettling in Australia, legal education and information about accessing legal services can significantly reduce the risks of hardship and social isolation. Traditionally, migrant communities have negotiated the first years of settlement in Australia with a limited understanding of the laws and operation of our legal system.

Community legal education (CLE) plays a key role in assisting new migrants, particularly those of non-English speaking backgrounds, achieve greater self-reliance and social mobility through improved awareness of their rights and responsibilities under Australian law.

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Current Work

Linking the Law

In 2017 Community Legal Guides from new migrant communities were trained to help their communities identify legal issues and access legal help.  Eight short videos were produced in community languages, about how to get help with legal problems. See Linking the Law to view the videos.

Law For You

This is a basic guide to the law for new migrants living in South Australia. It is intended to help non-English speakers learn key laws and find out about services available to assist people with legal problems. It is available in ten languages.

Please see our Law For You page for more information.

What's the Law

The What's the Law education kit was produced by legal aid commissions throughout Australia. The kit consists of 10 simple English photo stories about common legal problems that new migrants may encounter. It is accompanied by activity and answer sheets, including notes for those coordindating the use of the kit.

Please see our What's the Law page for more information or to access the kit online..

Our Approach

 Our approach to working with new migrant communities in legal education is based on:

  • community-based service delivery models;
  • non-academic, practical and culturally appropriate methodologies; and
  • ongoing support for relevant community leaders and organisations working with new migrants in the process of their settlement.

The community-based service delivery model is aimed at ensuring our legal education meets the specific needs of new and emerging migrant communities. We work with these communities to find out what they need to know about Australian law and how they like to learn.

We have close working relationships with the Adult Migrant Education Program, Humanitarian Settlement Services and a variety of other organisations working with new and emerging migrant communities.

Topics covered by workshops may include, but is not limited to the following:

  • Introduction to the Australian legal system
  • Laws which affect families, including:
    • age of consent
    • marriage and divorce
    • de facto relationships
    • children and separation
    • property and separation
    • rights and responsibilites in relation to parenting
    • child protection and mandatory reporting
    • family violence
  • Landlord and tenant law
  • Contract and consumer laws
  • Employment laws
  • Discrimination
  • Traffic laws (driving and motor vehicles)
  • Criminal laws (dealing with police, assaults, weapons and fraud)
  • How to get legal advice

All workshops contain practical examples of how and why the law applies to our everyday life.