The Dispute Resolution Section within the Access to Justice Division of AGDs selected ASR to assist them in evaluating the Civil Disputes Resolution Act (2011)—a fairly new act that was somewhat controversial within the legal profession.
The two target audiences for the survey were legal practitioners including court officers and judges, solicitors & counsel and clients who had been involved in Federal Court and Federal Magistrate Court proceedings which fell under the Act.
AGD and ASR project staff developed two web questionnaires (one each for legal practitioners and clients) and which ASR hosted. Questions covered knowledge and clarity of the Act, impact and effectiveness of the Act and suggested changes and improvements.
Prior to disseminating survey links, the practitioner questionnaire was pilot tested through initial consultation with around 10 key stakeholders. This select group was interviewed by telephone and this phase resulted in some small changes being made to the web questionnaire.
The survey was widely publicised through courts, legal institutes & societies and relevant web sites. ASR analysed the results including generating themes from numerous open-ended comments and produced a detailed report. The report formed a key part of AGD’s overall evaluation of the Act.