27 October 2016 – Volume 115

News

Annual Report front cover 2015/16

More services but the gap is increasing

Our Annual Report 2015–16 highlights that additional funding is urgently needed in order to address unmet legal need in the community and ensure clients have access to appropriate legal and non-legal services.

Read more about how we contribute to improved justice outcomes.

The value of legal aid

Victoria Legal Aid Managing Director Bevan Warner recently wrote an opinion piece in the Herald Sun highlighting the important role we play in an equal and just society.

To read more about how and why Victoria Legal Aid brings the protection of the law to all, see Bevan Warner on the value of legal aid.

Our family law guidelines have been redrafted – tell us what you think

We've been working with others to make our family law eligibility guidelines simpler, clearer and easier to understand. Your feedback on the redrafted guidelines will let us know if we're on the right track.

'Asking for Change' – a new approach to homelessness

Justice Connect recently launched a campaign, 'Asking for Change', which called for a more effective response to begging in Victoria.

A joint position paper sets out seven steps that – if embraced by specialist homelessness and health services, Victoria Police, local councils, local businesses and the Victorian Government – will help Victoria move towards a fairer, more sensible and more effective approach to begging, and the acute hardship that underpins it.

Find out more at Asking for change.

Applications sought to deliver Domestic Building Legal Advocacy Service

Consumer Affairs Victoria is seeking applications to deliver Victoria's proposed Domestic Building Legal Advocacy Service. The service will provide no-cost or low-cost legal advice and advocacy services to eligible Victorian domestic building consumers in special need of assistance to resolve complex building disputes.

Applications to deliver the Domestic Building Legal Advocacy Service can be made by independent Victorian not-for-profit organisations, including community legal centres.

Applications open on Wednesday 26 October and close on Friday 2 December.

For more information about the Domestic Building Legal Advocacy Service and how to apply for funding, see Domestic Building Legal Advocacy Service grants.

Options to improve child protection legal aid services

Keep a look out tomorrow for our consultation and options paper. We look forward to inviting your feedback on 50 options to help improve legal aid services for at risk children, young people and parents in the child protection system.

Read more about the Child Protection Legal Aid Services Review.

Panel practitioner updates

Vulnerable client gets a permanent stay in groundbreaking decision

We were recently involved in a significant Court of Appeal matter which creates new law and will provide guidance in cases of historical offending Australia-wide.

Read more about the matter which will provide guidance for application of stay principles in Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act matters.

New mandatory visa cancellation resources available online

We have produced a number of resources that lawyers may find useful to refer to when advising clients who have either had or are at risk of having their visas mandatorily cancelled.

Access the resources at New mandatory visa cancellation resources available online.

Supporting Victorian Bar advocates transitioning to trial work

The Trial Counsel Development Program (TCDP) provides members of the Victorian Bar with an opportunity to learn from, and appear with, experienced trial advocates. 

Read how Victoria Legal Aid can support advocates in trial work.

Thank you – the journey of the Means Test Review continues

The first stage of the Means Test Review is complete. We have been delighted to hear from many community and legal profession voices during the consultation phase.

Read more at Thank you – the journey of the Means Test Review continues.

Community news and notices

What would you do if a client complained of discrimination? Special information session in Shepparton – 4 November

Victoria Legal Aid's Equality Law Program is holding an information session for community organisations on how to identify discrimination and refer clients for assistance. The session will be held at La Trobe University, 210 Fryers Steet, Shepparton, from 3.30–5.00 pm on Friday 4 November. 

Organisations can email angela.zhou@vla.vic.gov.au by Tuesday 1 November to register. 

Law and courts in an online world – 8 and 9 November

Victoria Legal Aid Managing Director Bevan Warner will present at the Law and Courts in an Online World conference on 9 November about the role of legal aid commissions in exploiting the potential of technological advances to improve access to justice.

Read more at Law and courts in an online world.

Legal Fun Run and Walk – 21 November

The Legal Fun Run and Walk is an opportunity to raise awareness of health and wellbeing by focusing on work-life balance and getting active. Come and cheer other members of the legal community and network afterwards over a meal purchased from food trucks.

Read more about the Legal Fun Run and Walk.

White Ribbon Day – 25 November

White Ribbon Day seeks to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to and perpetuate men's violence against women. Men and women are encouraged to wear a symbolic white ribbon on Wednesday 25 November.

Read more about White Ribbon Day.

'Switch on' ... in the Law Library

The Law Library of Victoria are offering 'Switch on ...' information sharing sessions. Held on a Tuesday, these free 25-minute sessions are suited to judicial officers, court staff, legal professionals, law students and anyone with an interest in law.

Read more at The Law Library of Victoria.

If you have any community news that you would like included in this eNewsletter email editor@vla.vic.gov.au. Items will be published at the editor's discretion.

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