Introduction to IDRS Volunteer Lawyer Programme

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Solicitors Volunteering with Criminal Justice Support Network

About the Criminal Justice Support Network (CJSN)

The Criminal Justice Support Network (CJSN) is a service of the Intellectual Disability Rights Service (IDRS) that provides volunteer support persons for people with intellectual disability who are in contact with the criminal justice system.

A support person is allocated to a person with intellectual disability seeking assistance at police interviews, courts and related legal appointments whether they are victims, witnesses, suspects or defendants. Trained support persons are available in targeted areas: Sydney, the Illawarra/Shoalhaven region, the Central Coast, the Hunter region, Mid-North Coast, Riverina and mid-west area of NSW. We provide help over the telephone to people in other regional areas of NSW.

CJSN also has a network of volunteer criminal lawyers who are available to provide legal advice over the telephone after business hours, on weekends and at periods when the IDRS office is closed (e.g. public holidays).

Who can volunteer as a CJSN On Call Volunteer Lawyer?

Generally lawyers interested in volunteering need to have at least two years experience in the practice of criminal law following their admission as a solicitor or barrister.

However, this is not a strict requirement and CJSN does provide training to volunteer lawyers prior to them starting.

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