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Funds approved for computer-based legal information retrieval system

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The Attorney-General * s Department can now move

into the first stage of a three-year $1 million development plan to introduce Australia’s first computer-based legal information retrieval system.

The Acting Attorney-General, Senator Peter Durack, said tonight that during the past 12 months the Department had been experimenting and assessing the value of such a retrieval system to assist lawyers. -,

The Budget allocation would enable the first stage of the development programme to proceed.

Senator Durack said the present data base of the system included the 12 volumes of the consolidated

Acts of the Commonwealth Parliament to 1973. Other Commonwealth legislation, case law and State Statutes would be added as the programme developed.

"Development of this new computer-based legal retrieval system is an important Government initiative",

Senator Durack.said.

The Acting Attorney-General added that initially the system was planned to service the needs of lawyers

within his Department.

. However, arrangements are to be considered for the system to be available to selected bodies as soon as the development work made this practicable.


16.August 1977 .



The Budget has provided for the establishment of

the Institute of Family Studies during this financial year.

The Acting Attorney-General, Senator Peter Durack, said it was hoped to appoint a Director of the Institute . in the near future so that the Institute could begin

effective operation as soon as possible.

He said the position of Director had been

advertised world-wide, and the applications were now

260 .

being processed. ; He hoped to be able to announce the appointment shortly.

He said that the Institute had been provided for in the Family Law Act. Its principal function would

be to promote - by encouragement and co-ordination of research - the identification and understanding of the factors affecting marital and family stability in Australia. .

"The aim of the Institute will be to look at family life to see not what destroys it, but what makes a good marriage. Hopefully that will then be able to be

passed on to those who are getting married or through

counselling services," Senator Durack said.

. He said he hoped the Institute would assume great social significance in the years to come.

The Acting Attorney-General said that the Budget allocation also increased the amount of money available to approved marriage counselling organisations to $2,050,000. The Government would also be making a grant of $50,000 under the Marriage Act to organisations conducting pre-marital education courses. .

Canberra . ■

16 August 1977 .

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The Government has increased the allocation of funds for legal aid throughout Australia, the Acting Attorney-General, Senator Peter Durack said tonight.

He said an amount of $19.6 million had been allocated for the provision of legal aid through the

Australian Legal Aid Office and through the new State

and Territorial Legal Aid Commission.

The increased expenditure of $1.5 million would

enable the existing level of legal aid activity to be

maintained. .

This provision was in addition to the amount

of $3.8 million provided in the Budget.for Aboriginal

Legal Aid. .