(30 ILCS 765/5)
(from Ch. 5, par. 2050-5)
The General Assembly
(a) Equal justice is a basic right that is fundamental
to democracy in this State, and the integrity of this State and
this State's justice system depends on protecting and enforcing the
rights of all people.
(b) This State's residents must have information about self-help
processes and available remedies.
(c) The justice system must work with social services providers,
government agencies, and community leaders to promote
approaches to preventing and resolving legal
(d) The maintenance, operation, and
fairness of the courts are significantly enhanced when all parties
have access to basic legal information, information about the court
system, and information about alternative methods of dispute
resolution and other alternatives to the legal system. Individuals
unable to obtain this information who are also unable to obtain
legal representation cause all parties in the court system to
experience backlogs and delays, often resulting in multiple court
appearances, or lengthier court appearances, or both, than would otherwise
be necessary for all parties. When all parties have access to
basic legal information, information about the court system, and
information about alternatives to the legal system, the parties
may proceed in a more productive and efficient manner, thereby reducing
the number of cases the courts must manage and reducing unnecessary
backlogs and delays in the court system.
(e) The resolution of disputes can be costly and
time-consuming in the context of a formal judicial proceeding. Mediation
of disputes has a potential for efficiently
reducing the volume of cases in the court system in this
State. There is a compelling need
for dispute resolution centers to divert some matters from the court system.
(f) The courts of Illinois are backlogged with both
pre-judgment and post-judgment civil cases that require numerous
court appearances and lengthy hearings caused in part by
individuals who are not represented by legal counsel.
The resolution of these cases often
results in the
unrepresented party not following the court procedures and orders,
causing multiple court proceedings.
Providing legal representation to the indigent party in
civil cases has a great potential for efficiently reducing the
volume of matters that burden the court system in this State.
Not-for-profit legal services
organizations make a
substantial contribution to the expeditious operation and
maintenance of the courts in civil cases.
(g) Equal justice is an integral part of the general
(h) The collection and distribution of funds under this Act promotes
equal justice, is in
the public interest, and enhances the administration of justice and the
(i) The use of the funds for the purposes
prescribed by this Act is consistent with the essential functions
of the courts.
(Source: P.A. 91-584, eff. 1-1-00.)