16 April 2014 – Volume 54


Widespread pregnancy discrimination shows need for stronger workplace protections

With the release of a report by the Australian Human Rights Commission which shows one in two Australian women experience pregnancy discrimination, we have called for changes to the law to protect pregnant women and help them take up their legal rights.

An opinion piece by our Director Civil Justice, Access and Equity Kristen Hilton outlining the barriers facing pregnant women appeared in this week's Herald Sun
Read more

Draft Productivity Commission report released

The Productivity Commission's draft report into access to justice arrangements is now available and recommends widespread reforms to the civil and family justice system, including the provision of legal aid. 
Read more

Expert help essential in unravelling a complex Centrelink legal problem 

Even with expert legal help, there were many challenges in sorting out the circumstances of an Indigenous woman who was unexpectedly told by Centrelink that she had been overpaid more than $80,000. Our support led to a review of the debt and a waiving of most of the amount.
Read more

VLA's Board experience first-hand legal and community services in a Melbourne growth corridor 

Our Board and Senior Executive Team recently hit the road to learn more about the challenges facing legal and community services providers in one of Melbourne's major growth corridors.
Read more

Panel practitioner updates

Child Protection Panel now open 

Our Child Protection Panel is now open and is seeking expressions of interest from qualified firms and practitioners. Read more.

Youth Crime roles advertised

If you enjoy shaping policy in the youth crime sector, Victoria Legal Aid has a number of challenging positions that could be the next step in your career.

We are looking for a Youth Crime Program Manager and Youth Crime Deputy Managing Lawyer to join our well regarded Youth Crime team.

Applications close Friday 2 May and for more information visit our Jobs board.

Discussions continuing as part of Delivering High Quality Criminal Trials consultation 

Our Delivering High Quality Criminal Trials consultation continues to examine a variety of options to improve the quality and efficiency of legally aided criminal trials. Read more.

Support for panel practitioners undertaking specialist accreditation 

Victoria Legal Aid is offering support to private panel practitioners who are undertaking Law Institute of Victoria accredited specialisation 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

Hate speech laws: What they should and shouldn't try to do – 23 April

Held by the Castan Centre, this conference will feature Professor Gavin Phillipson from the University of Durham and will discuss proposed changes to race hate laws.

Read more at Castan Centre for Human Rights Law lecture on hate speech.

Talking Justice: Conversations about the role of justice in a free society – 9 to 11 May

Held by the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre, this event comprises a weekend series of public conversations around the role of justice in a free society, and will feature some of Australia's finest writers and thinkers.

Read more at Talking Justice: Conversations about the role of justice in a free society.

Why prison? Why not? Forum – 12 May

There has been intense debate in Victoria recently about the role and value of prison. To celebrate the Sentencing Advisory Council's 10th anniversary, a free public forum will consider imprisonment and its alternatives in the context of different approaches to criminal justice.

Read more at Why prison? Why not? Forum

Law Week 2014 – 12 to 18 May

Law Week is an annual festival of events which makes learning about the law easy. Find answers to everyday legal issues, go behind the scenes at the courts, or simply get carried away in the drama of the law.

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.

Victoria Legal Aid'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.

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