17 February 2016 – Volume 97


Photo of a gavel.

Judicial discretion, not mandatory sentences, the key to fair sentencing

In our submission to the Sentencing Advisory Council's review of sentencing practices, we support retaining judicial discretion, reject mandatory sentencing and reason that the increased use of guideline judgments is a better way to promote consistency and fairness in sentencing. 

Read our submission.

New mental health advocacy service off to a flying start

Our new service Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) which provides support to people subject to compulsory psychiatric treatment has been busy since officially opening its doors last year, and has already assisted many people to have more say over their treatment.

Read more at New mental health advocacy service off to a flying start.

Panel practitioner updates

Lecture addresses over-representation of Aboriginal people in prison

The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, Toronto Aborginal Legal Service, and Victoria Legal Aid have joined together to deliver a lecture on how Australia can learn from Canada's experiences in addressing the over-representation of Aboriginal people in prison.

'Addressing over-represenation of Aboriginal people in prison and providing more therapeutic options in criminal and child welfare settings – lessons from Canada', will canvass innovations in child protection work, youth justice and Aboriginal court initiatives.

The lecture will be held on Tuesday 23 February and attendance qualifies lawyers for two CPD points.

Register at TryBooking.

Community news and notices

4th National Elder Abuse Conference – 23 to 25 February

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.

Prisons: Unlocking our thinking – 24 February

Victorian Ombudsman Deborah Glass will discuss her recent investigation into Victoria's justice system and address a number of issues, including whether building more prisons makes us safer as a community and are there alternative approaches. Attendance at this event earns two CPD points.

Read more about Prisons: Unlocking our thinking.

ICC-centred international criminal justice and its challenges – 2 March

Professor Emeritus at Seoul National University Professor Sang-Hyun Song will discuss the transition of international criminal justice from ad hoc tribunals set up in the 1990s toward a more comprehensive concept of justice centred around the International Criminal Court (ICC).

Read more at ICC-centred international criminal justice and its challenges.

Public lecture by Fulbright scholar Professor Ingo Keilitz – 7 March

Fulbright scholar Professor Ingo Keilitz will discuss 'The Judiciary's Delicate Balance: Judicial Independence, Self-Management, Transparency and Public Accountability'. How should the judiciary perfect the balancing act required to deliver justice with impartiality and efficiency and how should the courts be accountable to a discerning and well informed public?

Read more about Public lecture: Judicial independence and court governance.

Vacancy for senior lawyer

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre is seeking a senior lawyer to deliver a range of legal assistance services, including casework, education and policy, across North and Central Victoria. Applications close Monday 22 February.

Read more about the senior lawyer role.

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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