11 June 2014 – Volume 58


Additional investment needed to address widespread unmet legal need

Victoria Legal Aid presented its case for increased investment in legal assistance services at public hearings for the Productivity Commission's Inquiry into Access to Justice Arrangements in Melbourne today.
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Helping a family deal with unfair bills

To avoid using a potentially dangerous gas heater in their public housing home, a family plugged in electric heaters. Their bills skyrocketed and by the time the gas heater was replaced, they were more than $4000 in debt. Find out how we helped the family stay warm while taking the heat out of their financial problems.
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Victoria Legal Aid welcomes recommendations to reform unfair fines system

Sweeping recommendations for further reform of the fines system have been welcomed by Victoria Legal Aid.
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Storytelling key to being heard, conference told

Members of our Community Legal Education and Youth Crime teams recently educated attendees at a major conference on crime prevention about how to deliver a successful education campaign.
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Panel practitioner updates

Costs recovered bring benefits to legally-aided clients

Costs awards and appeal costs certificates made in favour of clients in criminal proceedings have contributed more than $1 million annually to Victoria Legal Aid for the last two years – funds we can reallocate to additional services and other client matters.

Read more at Seeking and recovering costs in legal aid matters.

New Special Circumstances List resources

We have published a self-help kit to help people get referred to the Special Circumstances List which assists people who have accumulated unpaid fines stemming from homelessness, mental illness or drug addiction.

Read more at New Special Circumstances List resources

Support for panel practitioners undertaking specialist accreditation

We are offering support to private panel practitioners undertaking the Law  Institute of Victoria's Accredited Specialisation exam in the areas of Criminal Law and Children's Law through:
  • study groups, providing an opportunity for practitioners to collaborate and share their knowledge, experience and resources
  • professional legal education sessions and study intensives.
Read more about how we are supporting accredited specialisation.

Community events

2014 Children's Law Awards nominations closing soon

Nominations for the 2014 Children's Law Awards close this Friday 13 June and winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Friday 5 September.

The awards recognise the achievements and commitment of people and organisations that advance the legal rights and interests of children and young people across Australia.

For more information visit National Children’s and Youth Law Centre.

Human Rights Under the Charter: The Development of Human Rights Law in Victoria – 7 and 8 August

Held by Monash University, Human Rights Under the Charter: The Development of Human Rights Law in Victoria is the first international conference to present a thorough judicial and academic analysis of Victoria's human rights jurisprudence produced under the Victorian Human Rights Charter.

Read more at Human Rights Under the Charter: The Development of Human Rights Law in Victoria.

Robin Clark Memorial Awards 2014 applications close Friday

Nominations for the Robin Clark Memorial Awards 2014 close this Friday 13 June.

The awards recognise excellence and leadership in working with children, youth and families and are open to workers in the community, government or academic sector.

Read more at Robin Clark Memorial Awards 2014.

Help Cards

A suite of help cards and posters promoting our Legal Help service and 1300 number is now available in 25 languages, including those of newly arrived communities such as Farsi, Dinka and Dari.

VLA's Public Law Library

Locate legislation, case law or other material from our collection – many resources can be accessed online via our Public Law Library Catalogue. You can also check out what is new to the library this month.

Order free publications

We have a range of free resources to help people with their legal problems which can be ordered or downloaded from our catalogue.

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