The HIV AIDS Legal Centre (HALC) is a not-for-profit, community legal centre, specialising in issues relating to HIV/and other Blood Borne Viruses. It is only community legal service off its kind in Australia.
HALC was formed to address the severe stigma and discrimination that many people face regarding their HIV or BBV status and the law. HALC can provide specialist support services to you to assist you deal with these particular legal issues.
If you are facing court or have had your privacy breeched you can ring HALC on 02 9206 2060, Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm.
Community Legal Centres
What do Community Legal Centres do?
Community Legal Centres (CLCs) are independent community organisations providing equitable and accessible legal services especially for disadvantaged and marginalised members of our community. NSW CLCs mission is not only provide legal advice and assistance, but to also encourage and enable people to develop skills to be their own advocates. They work to promote human rights, social justice and a better environment by advocating for access to justice and equitable laws and legal systems. CLCs lobby and advocate for systemic change through community legal education, and through law and policy reform.
How can CLCs Help?
If you need legal help most CLCs offer a range of legal and related services to the community. Services include but are not limited to:
- Information and referral
- Advice on legal matters
- Legal casework and representation in targeted areas of law( which could include Centrelink, Housing, Family law matters)
- Community legal education (know your rights workshops)
- Law reform and public policy development and advocacy.
These services are usually offered for free, but you need to check with your closet CLCs.
Aboriginal Legal Service
The Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) is a non-government organisation which has been operating in Redfern since 1970 the first Aboriginal Legal Service in Australia. ALS has grown with 23 offices and 180 Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff across NSW and ACT. ALS works towards achieving justice for Aboriginal people and the Aboriginal community.
How can they help?
ALS provides free means tested legal services to Aboriginal men, women and children in NSW and ACT. They can assist with Criminal law, Civil law, Family law and Children’s Care, and Protection law matters. ALS not only employs lawyers they also employ Field Officers. Field Officers work with Aboriginal families and communities in and outside of the court room to ensure ALS clients are supported during the legal process.
Custody Notification Service
ALS also provides a 24 hour 7 day a week custody notification service for Aboriginal people.
How does the service work? Under NSW law, Police must contact the ALS whenever they take an Aboriginal person into custody. The Police phone the ALS Custody Notification Service (CNS), and the Aboriginal person has the right to speak to ALS lawyer, ensuring their fundamental legal rights are respected and less Aboriginal people are imprisoned unlawfully.
The ALS lawyer also asks the Aboriginal person: RU OK? Often, the answer is no. Threats of self-harm or suicide are common. Concerns about access to medication are common. Notifications of injuries sustained that need to be examined by a health professional are common.
If you need legal advice or representation you can contact ALS on CRIME 1800 765 767 CARE 1800 733 233 or check out their website to find your closet ALS office.