Legal capability and inaction for legal problems: knowledge, stress and cost

This paper analyzes data from an Australian survey on legal needs to determine which groups of people are less likely to take action in response to legal problems - and why. Specifically, the paper addresses those groups of people who responded that they had taken no action in response to legal problems because they didn't know what to do, they thought it would be too stressful, or they thought taking action would cost too much. The groups which gave these responses were more likely to have low legal capability than other groups for various reasons related to education, income levels, verbal and literacy skill and other life situations. The authors concluded that there was a correlation between knowledge, stress, cost and low legal capability. This in turn suggests that deficiencies in legal capability could manifest a "paralyzing" effect for dealing with substantial legal problems.