18 February 2015 – Volume 74


'Young people are our future': Judge Peter Couzens on Children's Court initiatives and the importance of early intervention

With more than four decades' experiences in the law, many of which have been spent with young people, Judge Peter Couzens is pleased that recent Children's Court initiatives will benefit young offenders and help address reoffending and generational disadvantage. Read more.

Family law case sets new ground in young people's rights

Our family lawyers recently achieved a landmark outcome in a case which explored whether a young person could make their own decisions about medical treatment to change gender. Read more.

Court action seeks a rethink on eviction process for community housing tenants

An expectation that tenants in community housing be given the same safeguards against arbitrary eviction as those in public housing is being pursued in the Supreme Court. Read more.

New independent mental health advocacy service

We have reached agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services to deliver an independent mental health advocacy service. Read more.

Panel practitioner updates

Reminder to practitioners about private payments and Section 26 obligations.

Section 26 of the Legal Aid Act 1978 prohibits requests for private payment from applicants for legal assistance. Practitioners must act in accordance with this section of the Act to avoid complaints or compliance failures relating to improper billing. Read more.

Baseline sentencing workshop

Criminal Lawyers are invited to attend training on the changes to the Sentencing Amendment (Baseline Sentences) Act 2014, a baseline sentencing scheme commenced in Victoria in November 2014. This training will be delivered by Victoria Legal Aid, the Office of Public Prosecutions, the Sentencing Advisory Council and the Judicial College of Victoria on Thursday 26th February. Read more.

Sign up for Brief Analysis Masterclass

Our Brief Analysis Masterclass will assist junior practitioners to develop new skills in brief preparation and help more senior practitioners refresh their approach. Read more.

Community news and notices

Cultural Diversity and the Law Conference

With one in four Australians born overseas, this conference will feature speakers sharing the strategies they have used to ensure access to justice for people from culturally diverse backgrounds. Read more.

Applications for Victoria Law Foundation grants now open

The Victoria Law Foundation is offering grants for projects helping Victorians better understand the law.

Applications close Tuesday 17 March and for more information about grants criteria see Victoria Law Foundation.

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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