9 December 2020 – Volume 210

A year-end message from our CEO Louise Glanville

After a tumultuous year for the entire Victorian community, Louise reflects on the resilience shown by the legal assistance sector and the people we help, as well as VLA’s many achievements in 2020.

Joanna Fletcher appointed Executive Director Family, Youth and Children’s Law

We’re pleased to announce that Joanna Fletcher has been appointed the new Executive Director of Family, Youth and Children’s Law. This is a significant appointment to lead our practice, which helps people resolve family disputes and achieve safe, workable and child-focused parenting and care arrangements, and help parents resolve future disputes without legal assistance. Joanna joins us from Women’s Legal Service Victoria, where she has been CEO for the past ten years.

We welcome the repeal of public drunkenness offences

Spurred on by the tragic death of Tanya Day, and nearly thirty years since the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody recommended it, the government reaffirmed its intention to introduce legislation repealing the offence of public drunkenness. We welcome this move to a health-first approach.

People doing Legal Aid work

The Horsham office in a video meeting with the Attorney-General

A virtual chat with the Attorney-General

The impact of COVID-19 on our clients, our work practices and the region were all on the agenda when Attorney-General Jill Hennessy held a virtual meeting with our Horsham office.

Panel practitioner updates

Fee increase of 2 per cent from 1 January 2021

We are increasing all professional fees by 2 per cent effective from 1 January 2021. This applies to all existing grants of legal assistance where the matter has not been finalised, and new grants made on or after that date. All appearances and additional preparation completed prior to the changes attract the 2020 fees.

Please contact Grants and Quality Assurance on (03) 9269 0600 for any queries regarding the fees increase.

Last chance to share your thoughts

Our Panel Practitioner Satisfaction Survey closes this Friday 11 December. If you'd like to offer some input and feedback, please do so. It only takes ten minutes, and your feedback will inform how we engage with and support you, your work and your clients in 2021.

Changes to Supreme Court file and litigation searches

The Supreme Court of Victoria has changed the way court file search requests and litigation search requests are made with the launch of eAccess.

As of Monday 7 December 2020, requests to search court files and litigation search requests will be made through eAccess via the Court’s eFiling system (RedCrest). This aims to further streamline electronic processes in accordance with the Court’s Digital Strategy.
Court files and litigation search results will continue to be made available by email, mail or downloadable link. Existing processes will continue for Probate search requests.

Community news and notices

ARC Justice hiring a key role

ARC Justice is an independent, not-for-profit, human rights organisation that incorporates the Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre, the Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centre, and Housing Justice. They're now hiring a Director of Legal Practice

Applications open for Victoria Law Foundation grants

The Victoria Law Foundation is offering small grants that improve community understanding of the justice system and community grants that improve understanding of civil legal issues.

Applications close Monday 15 March 2021.

Thanks for reading, see you in 2021

This is the last edition of Legal Aid Brief for 2020. From all of us at Victoria Legal Aid we wish you a safe and restful holiday season. We look forward to keeping you up to date with legal aid matters when we return in early 2021.

If you have any community news that you would like included in this newsletter email editor@vla.vic.gov.au. Items will be published at the editor's discretion.

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This newsletter is authorised by Victoria Legal Aid, 570 Bourke Street Melbourne 3000.

Victoria Legal Aid operates on Aboriginal country throughout Victoria. We acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land and respect their continuing connections to land, sea and community.

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