Other justice and law reform activities
Other justice and law reform activities
In addition to our current strategic advocacy priorities, we are undertaking justice and law reform activities:
- Victorian Gender Equality Strategy submission – March 2016
- Sentencing guidance reference submission – February 2016
- Residential Tenancies Act Review, Security of Tenure submission – December 2015
- Willing to Work submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission – December 2015
- Victorian inquiry into the labour hire industry and insecure work – December 2015
- Victims of crime in the criminal trial process – September 2015
- Charter of Human rights and responsibilities submission – June 2015
- National Ice Taskforce submission – May 2015
- Proposed amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 submission – April 2015
- Submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into the Workplace Relations Framework – March 2015
- Supplementary submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into the Workplace Relations framework – March 2015
- Parliamentary inquiry into the Child Support Program submission – June 2014
- Response to Productivity Commission draft report into Access to Justice Arrangements – May 2014
- Review of sexual offences submission – January 2014
- Submission to the Productivity Commission inquiry into Access to Justice – November 2013
- Submission to the Commonwealth Government review of the Paid Parental Leave Scheme Act 2010 – June 2013
Our submission to the Victorian Government’s Victorian Gender Equality Strategy Consultation outlines that in order to address gender inequality, Victoria must improve the legal and policy response to the parental responsibilities of workers and sex discrimination in the workplace.
In our submission to the Sentencing Advisory Council on effective mechanisms for sentencing guidance, we focus on the need for evidence-based decision making. We question whether there is a need for a new form of legislative guidance, and whether strategies like mandatory sentencing are capable of improving public confidence and consistency of sentencing approach. We argue that on the evidence, schemes that limit judicial discretion do not work, are unjust, and disproportionately impact the disadvantaged.
Our experience is that judicial discretion is central to the administration of justice. If the aim is to improve consistency and public confidence, we argue that guideline judgments are likely to be most effective, together with non-legislative measures such as community education and research.
In June 2015 the Victorian Government announced a major review of the Residential Tenancies Act. Our submissions to the review call for reform to the law to ensure that tenancies are managed sustainably and evictions only occur as a last resort.
It is anticipated that the review will be completed by early to mid-2018.
Our submission to the Australian Human Rights Commission’s Willing to Work Inquiry highlights the changes required to Commonwealth discrimination laws to effectively address age and disability discrimination.
The inquiry will report on its findings and recommendations by July 2016.
Our submission to the Inquiry into the Labour Hire Industry and Insecure Work makes recommendations to increase protections for workers subject to labour hire arrangements and other forms of insecure employment, particularly women workers, migrant workers, workers with disability and victims of family violence.
The inquiry is due to release its final report by 31 July 2016.
In our submission to the Victorian Law Reform Commission on Victims of Crime in the Criminal Trial Process we look at how victims of crime can be more meaningfully supported and engaged in criminal trial processes, and make recommendations to help provide them with improved access to justice.
Our submission to the 2015 Review of the Charter of Human Rights draws on our practical experience in helping vulnerable and marginalised people enforce their rights under the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006.
We describe how we have successfully used the charter to help our clients who have had their human rights breached. We also identify opportunities to strengthen and improve the charter to make it more accessible and enforceable.
The full report and summary report are now available. The report picks up many of our recommendations to make the Charter more effective in protecting the rights of Victorians.
In our submission to the National Ice Taskforce we present the experience of our staff in helping clients who use crystal methamphetamine. We make recommendations about reducing the impact of ice use on our clients, their families and the community.
The taskforce will develop a national ice action strategy by the end of 2015.
Our submission to the Attorney-General highlights the changes required to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010 (Vic) to ensure that it operates fairly and to overcome a major shortcoming, being its reliance on individual complainants for enforcement.
In our submission to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into the Workplace Relations framework we identify ways to improve existing workplace protections, based on our experience helping vulnerable employees with discrimination claims.
The report is expected to be tabled by the end of 2015.
In our supplementary submission to the Productivity Commission's inquiry into the Workplace Relations framework we respond to the Commission's draft report, particularly its recommendation to cap compensation, and recommend ways to better protect migrant workers.
In our submission to the Parliamentary inquiry into the Child Support Program we outline some of the challenges with the child support system experienced by both parents who provide and receive child support. We make some suggestions to better support vulnerable parents to meet their obligations and reduce the complexity of the scheme.
*Note: page 2 includes figures updated since the submission was accepted by the inquiry.
The Standing Committee expects to table its report in 2015.
Our submission focuses on unmet civil legal need, the effectiveness of the mixed model of legal assistance services, Community Legal Centre administration and reform in Victoria and the valuable role of independent boards in service design and delivery.
In our submission to the Review of sexual offences we make recommendations that would simplify the law of rape, and which are aimed at balancing the rights of complainants and accused in this challenging area of the law.
The Crimes Amendment (Sexual Offences and Other Matters) Act 2014 was passed in October 2014.
In our submission, we highlight the important role that the legal assistance sector plays in providing access to justice. Our submission also described how effective strategic advocacy is cost effective and can deliver lasting benefits for the community.
The Access to Justice Arrangements Inquiry report was released in December 2014.
In our submission to the Commonwealth Government review of the Act we highlighted the way in which discrimination in employment on the basis of pregnancy is a significant bar to women accessing paid parental leave entitlements.
The Paid parental leave review report was released in June 2014.