(30 ILCS 765/5) (from Ch. 5, par. 2050-5)
    Sec. 5. Legislative findings. The General Assembly finds:
    (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 difficulties.
    (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 public welfare.
    (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 courts.
    (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.)