9 December 2015 – Volume 95


Photo of Bevan Warner

Agitating for more and better justice

In his latest LinkedIn blog, Managing Director Bevan Warner looks back on a year of collaboration in the legal assistance sector and forward to a year of advocacy to improve access to justice in 2016. Read more at Agitating for more and better justice.

Settled and Safe training benefits new Australians

Our Settled and Safe program increases awareness of family law and family violence. It is proving invaluable in helping new arrivals understand our legal system. Read more about how Settled and Safe is benefiting new Australians.

Panel practitioner updates

Taking a look at the expert evidence practice note in the County and Supreme Courts

More than a year since it was introduced, President Maxwell and Victoria Legal Aid lawyers are among many in the profession continuing to raise awareness of the benefits of the expert evidence practice note. Read more about the expert evidence practice note.

Feedback sought on victim impact statement scheme

The Victims Support Agency is conducting a survey for defence counsel which seeks views on the victim impact scheme and the effect that reforms have had on legal practitioner's practices.

The Victims Support Agency is particularly interested in determining issues relating to the making of a victim impact statement from the perspective of a defence practitioner.

All responses are anonymous and only aggregated data will be included in the report to the Attorney-General.

Take the survey at Victim impact statement review: Survey for defence counsel.

Study support available for specialist accreditation candidates

If you are undertaking specialist accreditation in 2016 and looking for study support, sign up for our study support program. Learn more about our study support program.

Share your views about complainants' evidence

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse has commissioned a research project about the experience of relevant people in relation to mechanisms for complaints to give evidence in child and adult sexual abuse cases.

Victorian defence lawyers with experience with child sexual abuse cases are invited to participate in the research, as perspectives are being sought from prosecution, defence and judicial officers. The Commission is particularly seeking to increase responses from defence lawyers.

The survey is anonymous and confidential, and can be accessed at Australian professionals' views on complainants' evidence in sexual abuse cases.

Community news and notices

Victoria Law Foundation Legal Laneway Breakfast – 3 February 2016

Now in its 13th year and organised by the Victoria Law Foundation, the 2016 Legal Laneway Breakfast is a great way to celebrate the start of the legal year, catch up with colleagues and meet new faces in the legal sector.

Read more at Victoria Law Foundation Legal Laneway Breakfast 2016.

4th National Elder Abuse Conference – 23 to 25 February 2016

This conference aims to prevent and resolve elder abuse by showcasing new knowledge to use in practice, raise awareness and influence system change. The conference will feature a range of internationally acclaimed speakers from medical and allied health, education, government and aged care sectors, as well as engaging discussion on the prevention of elder abuse and networking opportunities.

Read more about the National Elder Abuse Conference.

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day toolkit

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day – the United Nations designated day to voice opposition to the abuse inflicted on older people, most commonly by their families – will be held on 15 June 2016. The World Elder Abuse Awareness Day toolkit contains ideas for events and activities, a guide to marketing your event and other useful information.

Read more at World Elder Abuse Awareness Day toolkit.

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.


This eNewsletter is authorised by Victoria Legal Aid, 350 Queen Street Melbourne 3000.

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