People in NSW will be empowered to take control of their legal problems with a new Kaldor Centre-led Tech4Justice Complaints Platform, after the NSW Government awarded a $250,000 grant to this one-stop shop for negotiating 61 state and federal complaints-handling processes.

Every day, people with legitimate grievances against government bodies, businesses and other entities run up against barriers that prevent them from seeking redress through existing complaint channels. The first-of-its-kind Tech4Justice Complaints Platform aims to change that by creating a tool that informs people of their legal rights, identifies appropriate complaints pathways, and supports users to make complete and effective complaints. While Tech4Justice is open to everyone, it will be of particular benefit to individuals and communities who experience discrimination, prejudice, and disadvantage.

The project is led by Kaldor Centre Deputy Director Daniel Ghezelbash, in partnership with UNSW’s Allens Hub for Technology, Law and Innovation, the National Justice Project and Portable Australia, in collaboration with Macquarie University, K&L Gates Microsoft and Josef. 

Announcing the NSW Access to Justice Innovation Fund grant, Attorney General Mark Speakman said, ‘Navigating multiple organisations to resolve a compliant can be frustrating and time-consuming, which is why projects that create more seamless access to justice are so important.

‘The project proposed by UNSW is impressive and I’m looking forward to seeing its results,’ Speakman said.

This Tech4Justice project team will develop a bespoke AI-triage/navigation tool that allows users to quickly and easily identify the right complaints pathways for their situation. Then, for each pathway and complaint type available, the platform will offer up-to-date fact-sheets and flow charts explaining the processes and procedures. Integration with Microsoft’s translation technology will make these tools resources and available in over 70 languages. Finally, the team will develop chatbots that generate complaints documents for a number of key complaint bodies. 

‘Making a complaint can be daunting at best and inaccessible at worst, especially for marginalised people,’ said Associate Professor Ghezelbash. ‘The web platform will help people who need it most to access justice by demystifying the complaints-making process and empowering people who otherwise wouldn’t to self-advocate.’Daniel Ghezelbash

‘This project combines powerful expertise from innovative partners, and it is exciting to see them coming together to help give people an opportunity to speak, seek justice and to right wrongs,’ Ghezelbash said.  

Professor Andrew Lynch, Dean of the Law & Justice faculty at UNSW, said the university is grateful for the opportunity to develop the platform.

‘We’re very excited to be working on this project, which has real potential to help people pursue their rights,’ Lynch said. 

‘The Tech4Justice Complaints Platform will break down the barriers to justice by making them far easier to navigate.’ 

The project will also provide an evidence base that may reveal and address systemic discrimination, as well as help to improve complaints mechanisms.