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Marrickville Legal Centre

Create better outcomes for the whole community


There is a public misconception that anyone who appears before court is a criminal. This is simply not true. What brings many people to court is a fundamental misunderstanding of the law and the court process. It should come as no surprise that these same people are often the most vulnerable in our community. This is why the Duty Lawyer Service is such an important community safety net to minimise interaction with the justice system. 

“I couldn't believe how quickly Metin got things moving. He found my papers for me and pointed out my exemplary driving record. The Magistrate threw it out of court; dismissed it. It was all done within ten minutes. I’ve never seen anything quite as well presented by any lawyer.” 
- With free help from duty lawyer Metin, 82-year-old Theo’s traffic matter was dismissed from his record. 
“Being called before the court is a scary experience,” says solicitor Metin Ozmen, “We know. We are there each week.” 
Each week at local court duty lawyers are there to help vulnerable people navigate complex court processes.  

Our duty lawyers fill a gap in the provision of legal services for unrepresented people who attend Burwood Local Court and Sutherland Local Court for domestic violence proceedings, traffic violations and summary crime. The initiative is accessible by court users who are not eligible for a grant of aid from Legal Aid NSW and cannot afford a private lawyer.  

Legal problems left unresolved can lead to life crises including job loss, financial distress, homelessness, relationship breakdown, family violence, mental illness and substance abuse (Coumarelos et al. 2012). 

What the community needs is increased availability of duty lawyers right now. Each additional staff hour funded means another person in crisis is helped.   
Can you make a gift to urgently increase access to justice for people in crisis?  

$100       Secure 3 x 20 minute sessions with a duty lawyer to save months stuck in the court system.
$250       Help vulnerable court users like Theo to receive full and proper legal representation. 
$500       Prevent unresolved legal problems from spiralling into unemployment, mental illness or homelessness. 
$1000     Send duty lawyers into schools to educate young people on the court system.
$5000    Provide duty lawyer support in court for a day each week over 3 months.
$10,000 Provide duty lawyer support in court for a day each week over 6 months.

Marrickville Legal Centre exists to help people who are disadvantaged by our legal system because access to justice should not be a privilege for the few. Justice is for us all. 
Supporting all court users delivers positive outcomes for the whole community. 
Yelena, 76, lives with her husband in an apartment in Sydney’s inner west. She also lives with dementia. One day the Police attended Yelena’s house after after a neighbour called to report that Yelena used a broom to intimidate her husband Yorik, who is her full-time carer. Yelena does not recall the incident nor is she able to remember what conditions she is subject to. The Police issued an AVO at the scene, despite her husband expressing no fears for his safety. 
Marrickville Legal Centre duty lawyers negotiated with Police on Yelena’s behalf, showing them the medical evidence in support of a withdrawal of the AVO. Three months later, the Police finally agreed, and the matter was withdrawn and dismissed. Both Yelena and her husband can now live free of the distress of conviction. 

Can you create better and fairer outcomes for the most vulnerable in your community today? Donate today to help people like Yelena. 
 Your donation will help vulnerable court users by:  

  • Increasing duty lawyers in local courts to alleviate the influx of local court backlogs from COVID-19.
  • Educating people who interact with the justice system about their rights and responsibilities.
  • Helping people in need of protection to avoid the added trauma of an AVO matter going to hearing.

Proper legal representation for all court users creates positive outcomes for the whole community. There is a huge gap within our legal system. Your tax-deductible gift today can help close that gap. Help our Centre to raise $20,000 to keep our duty lawyers in Court, so people like Theo and Yelena won’t face the terror of Court alone. 
Thank you for standing with MLC and our clients to deliver access to justice. 
P.S. Your donation has the power to urgently reclaim the rights of people who are disadvantaged by our legal system. Please give today. 

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Contact Details

338 Ilawarra Road


Are donations tax deductible?


Will I receive a receipt for my donation?

Yes, as soon as your donation is processed.