Means & Merits Test

Salvos Legal Humanitarian is a free legal service that aims to provide access to justice through full-time representation to those who could not otherwise obtain it.

When assessing the level of assistance we are able to provide to our clients, Salvos Legal Humanitarian undertakes an assessment outlined in the flow chart below.

The main considerations are explained in further detail below:

Can the client afford to pay for legal representation or is there another, more suitable, service available to the client whom we can refer them to?

We will offer preliminary assistance to all clients but those who have sufficient income or assets to enable them to afford legal representation will not generally be considered for full-time representation.

Further, we recognise that it is specialised in certain areas of the law and is best equipped to act in certain kinds of matters.  As such, it is important to recognise that sometimes people who attend one of our Advice Bureaus have special needs and are able to obtain better, more specialised legal assistance through another service offered in the community. In these cases, we will endeavour to manage a referral to the more appropriate service to ensure a transition to the more specialised service so that the client can obtain the best service available for them.

Can we make a difference in this person’s life?

Salvos Legal Humanitarian aims to represent those clients who have a genuine desire to deal with the broader issues in their lives that have brought them into conflict with the law

We are conscious of using our limited resources in cases where we feel that we are able to achieve a positive result for our clients, whether that is a successful result in an actual Court case or in a more general sense in terms of rehabilitation, conflict resolution, advice and understanding, or simply assistance in obtaining closure.

If we feel that we are unable to achieve any form of positive outcome for a client, then we are unlikely to be able to provide full-time representation. We will still provide assistance to that client but that might be limited to advice or by way of a referral to another more suitable service.

Is it consistent with the mission of The Salvation Army to act in this matter?

Salvos Legal Humanitarian is a free legal service that operates within the parameters of The Salvation Army’s social and mission objectives.

These objectives do not exclude Salvos Legal Humanitarian from acting in any particular field of law, but require us to exercise our discretion as to whether we will act in any specific case, depending upon the facts and instructions provided to us by the particular client.

Salvos Legal Humanitarian’s discretion to act in each particular case will be exercised in accordance with The Salvation Army’s desire to achieve equality, oppose discrimination and fight for social justice.