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Mapping a new path

The health justice landscape in 2017

Health justice partnerships (HJPs) are collaborations between health and legal services, bringing lawyers into healthcare settings to address health-harming legal need. From an innovation led by health and legal practitioners in particular communities, health justice partnerships have become a movement attracting interest from practitioners, researchers, policy-makers and funders.

Yet there is no reliable data about the number, nature and scope of health justice partnerships across Australia. This report fills that gap, establishing a first and foundational profile of Australia’s health justice landscape.

In response to this evolving movement, Health Justice Australia was established in 2016 as a national charity and centre of excellence for health justice partnerships. Based on a survey health Justice Australia conducted in 2017, we have sought to identify what types of health and legal services work in partnership across Australia, who the partners are, and where partnerships are based. We have identified who these services support and what help they have provided. We have examined how agencies have partnered and learned about the difference they seek to make. Critically, this work defines a baseline from which we can track the growth, evolution and outcomes of services on the health justice landscape.

This work has been undertaken at a dynamic time, when services are both starting up as and evolving into active partnerships between health and legal agencies to address health-harming legal need among a range of communities.

Given the organic growth of these services, it is not surprising to find a range of different ideas about what constitutes an HJP. This report examines the findings of the mapping survey, taking at face value that a range of different services have identified themselves as health justice partnerships.

Download to full report to read more. (0.49 MB)

Beyond mapping the landscape, this variance in service models raises key questions about what makes a service an HJP and how HJPs may differ from other equally valuable but different models of engagement between health and legal agencies.

We explore these questions separately, in our discussion paper, Service models on the health justice landscape: A closer look at partnership.

Related content

This report discusses whether and how health justice partnerships achieve financial wellbeing outcomes for their clients, how they work with financial counsellors and the opportunities and constraints of addressing financial wellbeing.