The law and you

AFRICAN communities on the Coffs Coast will be helped to better understand the law thanks to a new DVD launched by the State Government.

The teaching resource has been produced in seven African languages and explains how the legal system can assist newly settled Australians.

“It will assist African communities to adjust to our legal system, which is vastly different to customary law systems used in countries such as Sudan and Somalia,” NSW Attorney General John Hatzistergos said.

The DVD, titled The Law and You: Legal Information for African Communities covers a range of court and other legal processes.

It explains what services are available for victims of crime, what to do if you are a victim of racism or discrimination, how to obtain apprehended violence orders and options for addressing money or debt issues.

The DVD is available in English and seven emerging African languages, including Arabic (classical), Amharic, Dinka, Juba Arabic, Kiswahili, Krio and Somali.

Free copies can be ordered from

The Department of Justice and Attorney General has developed the DVD in consultation with African communities in Sydney.

“The department’s consultations revealed that many members of African communities were unsure of their rights and did not know how to get legal assistance,” Mr Hatzistergos said.

The free legal information service, Law Access, last year recorded a 34 per cent increase in calls from mulicultural community members in 2009.

People can talk to LawAccess NSW with the assistance of an interpreter by dialling 131 450.

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