Information for lawyers

Thinking outside the box – an NDIS advocacy workshop

Victorian Disability Advocacy Network (VicDAN) is holding a one day workshop on Friday 27 October. The event is open to both legal and non-legal disability advocates who work with National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants.

VicDAN is seeking to develop capacity within the advocacy and legal service provider community, to strengthen the use of resources to best advantage NDIS participants.

Our criminal law policy and law reform work

We are actively involved in policy and law reform work including government-led consultations and working groups. We are advocating for fair and transparent laws that recognise the vulnerability of our clients, many of whom are socially and economically isolated from society. These clients include children, people living with a disability or mental illness, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and those who live in remote areas.

Some of our recent work has involved contributing to:

Handy hints for youth crime lawyers

The Children and Justice Legislation (Youth Justice Reform) Bill 2017 was introduced in May and passed Parliament in September 2017. The legislation makes significant reforms to youth justice. The default commencement date for the reforms is 1 June 2018 but we expect a number of the reforms will come into operation before this date. We will ensure you have relevant updates and training to support you before commencement. In the meantime, did you know that:

Upcoming LIV Specialist Accreditation opportunities

The Law Institute of Victoria is offering specialist accreditation in the areas of criminal law and children’s law in 2018. We support lawyers undertaking work for legally aided clients to apply for specialist accreditation. We provide a practical study support program to help lawyers prepare themselves for the specialisation examinations. The support program includes facilitated study groups, professional legal education lectures and access to resources.

Guilty pleas and informing clients of non-court consequences

In addition to court penalties, demerit points and licence restrictions, clients who are pleading guilty to offences must be made aware of other potential consequences. A conviction, or a finding of guilt, may affect their future employment, their ability to obtain certain licences or even the option to remain in Australia.

Our new fact sheet, Pleading guilty – advising adult clients about non-court consequences, contains a non-exhaustive list of possible matters that may need to be discussed with a client before they plead guilty to offences.

Claimable thresholds increase

We have been working with our technology team to increase claim thresholds. These changes were approved in August and should see a reduction in the amount of matters being held up in the ATLAS work pool. The changes include auto-approval of the following before Victoria Legal Aid will need to make an assessment:

  • 2 x bail grants (each bail grant still needs to be requested)
  • 5 x plea days following trial
  • 8 x County Court mentions/call-overs.

Auto-certification of:

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