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More Legal Aid support for Canberra's youth

Simon Corbell.

Simon Corbell. Photo: Colleen Petch

ACT Legal Aid's Youth Law Centre has doubled its opening hours in an effort to better offer legal information to young people.

It has also produced a new edition of its legal handbook and is using social media to make young people aware of its services.

Attorney-General Simon Corbell said the project was about improving young people's access to justice.

''Tenancy problems, credit and financial problems, those types of issues tend to predominate in terms of the issues young people raise,'' he said.''That's what they're experiencing, they're making the transition from home into rental accommodation, they're entering into legal contracts around finance or credit, all those types of things tend to bring with them some level of legal problems from time to time.''

The centre's services are provided through pro bono support from law firms and paralegal support from ANU law undergraduates.

The centre is aimed at people aged 12 to 25, with support too for those younger than that. Among services, it has developed a mobile phone application called Below the Belt: Sex, Selfies, Cyberbullying, to be launched soon.

''This is a new and challenging area of the law around the use of social media and problems such as cyber bullying and so on, and I think it is important that legal aid services respond to this explosion of online and social media and mobile technology,'' Mr Corbell said.


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