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  4. Health Justice Partnerships: working ethically to reach those in most need of legal and medical support & to improve outcomes – research evidence




Health Justice Partnerships: working ethically to reach those in most need of legal and medical support & to improve outcomes – research evidence



Public, Staff, Students, Alumni, Academics

Presenter: Dr Liz Curran

Dr. Curran is Senior Lecturer at the Australian National University and a Visiting Scholar at City Law School.


This presentation will examine the emergence of Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) in Australia and will discuss some of the ethical dilemmas and resolutions of these dilemmas that have emerged during Dr. Curran's action research evaluations. A Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) sees a partnership between a legal assistance (or legal aid) service and health services (including allied health services).  Empirical research sees unresolved legal problems lead to poor health outcomes. In Australia and the UK those most likely to have multiple legal problems are the poor and disadvantaged and figures say only 13% - 16 % get help. In HJP the focus is on problem solving for client/patients with often complex and multiple problems and solving these in a holistic way through integrating legal and non-legal services to enable client access and seamless assistance. This presentation will also discuss the ethical issues and how these have been resolved due to the holistic client focus of all the professionals in the HJP examined.

The full abstract is available to download.

Speaker biography

Melbourne based, Dr Liz Curran is Senior Lecturer in the Australian National University (ANU) Legal Workshop (an Australia-wide Professional Legal Education course). Dr Curran is Associate Director of ANUs international Profession, Education and Regulation in Law Centre (PEARL). She is also the Leader of the ‘Access to Justice’ stream of PEARL. Liz was the recipient of the Australian Centenary Medal for ‘services to community and lecturing’.

Dr Curran’s research focusses on access to justice; the rule of law; human rights of people in disadvantage; building legal and advocacy capacity of community; impact and effectiveness of service delivery. She has published research reports (2007, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016) on outcomes, quality and effectiveness and on a ‘Strategic Approaches to Problem Solving’ (March 2013). Between 2014 and end 2018 Liz is commissioned to conduct a number of research evaluations of Multi –Disciplinary practice including Health Justice Partnerships (HJP) in Australia and advising in Canada and recently the UK.  She evaluated a family violence prevention program in May 2015 which informed the Royal Commission into Family Violence. Liz is a regular media commentator on human rights and access to justice.

Her recent research on HJP’s aims to better reach clients in most need of legal help, who currently have no access, through multi-disciplinary practice. Liz’s research on effective legal and community service practice, impact and positive client outcomes examining what improves the social determinants of health has led to considerable interest domestically and overseas. Liz is advising the Legal Services Board Victoria (LSB) on evaluation to support and guide eight LSB HJP funded services. Her research uses empirical study to find what works and why and gives a voice to people who are often invisible and experience social exclusion. Liz is also a practicing solicitor and undertakes community development and professional training for legal and non -legal professionals.

Liz is heavily cited in the Productivity Commission’s Reports on ‘Access to Justice Arrangements’ (Volumes One and Two), the Allen Consulting ‘Review of the National Partnership Agreement of Legal Assistance Service in Australia’. She has sat on government and statutory advisories and many of her law reform suggestions have been implemented.

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When & where

6.00pm - 8.00pmTuesday 13th September 2016

Atkin Building City, University of London 4 Gray's Inn Place London WC1R 5DX United Kingdom

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City Events Team

+44 (0)20 7040 8037

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