Legal and court support for Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islander people

Special support services and programs are available to assist Aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders with legal problems and court matters.

These are the main services and programs available.

Aboriginal Client Service Specialist Program

Aboriginal Client Service Specialists work at various local court sites to assist communication between the court and the Aboriginal community. The Aboriginal Client Services Specialist Program, seeks to improve the quality of justice-related services for Aboriginal victims of crime; court users and their families.

Aboriginal Community Justice Groups

Members of Aboriginal Community Justice Groups examine crime and offending problems in their communities and develop solutions. They work on local issues in cooperation with police, courts, community offender services and juvenile justice.

Alternative sentencing and programs

Circle Sentencing

Circle Sentencing is an alternative sentencing court for adult Aboriginal offenders. Local Aboriginal people, including Aboriginal Community Justice Groups are involved in the process of sentencing offenders.

Read more about Circle Sentencing on the Judicial Commission of New South Wales website.

Care Circles

Care Circles is a program in the Shoalhaven area where Aboriginal community representatives help the children's court make some decisions about Aboriginal children in care matters.

Read more about Care Circles on the Children's Court of New South Wales website.

Legal advice for Aboriginal people

Aboriginal Legal Service

Staff at the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) offer a variety of legal services to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in New South Wales.

By law, police must notify the ALS whenever an Aboriginal person is taken into custody. An ALS lawyer will give the person in custody legal advice and check his or her wellbeing.


Call  LawAccess toll free line for legal information, referrals and in some cases, advice. If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you can ask to speak to an Aboriginal staff member about your legal problem.

Telephone: 1300 888 529

Victims Services' Aboriginal Contact Line

Aboriginal victims of crime can call the Victims Services confidential Aboriginal contact line for information and support.

Telephone: 1800 019 123

Last updated:

10 Aug 2020

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