Family Violence Panel

Family Violence Panel

We invite practitioners to apply for inclusion on the section 29A Family Violence Panel.

The panel is an exclusive panel. This means that firms and practitioners will need to be on this panel to receive grants of legal assistance for family violence matters.

Under the panel application process, both firms and individual practitioners must apply.

Before you apply

Practitioners must read the Information package: Family Violence Panel (pdf, 1.06 MB) or the accessible Word versions before submitting an application.

What this panel covers

The Family Violence Panel is a practitioner panel established under section 29A of the Legal Aid Act 1978, which covers:

  • family violence intervention orders
  • personal safety intervention orders
  • court ordered representation in family violence matters (respondent and applicant)
  • responding to family violence appeals in the County Court.

How panel membership works

Victoria Legal Aid’s panel membership model includes a role for both firms and individual practitioners. Panel membership is by firm, except for the Independent Children’s Lawyer Panel.

Pursuant to section 29A(7) of the Legal Aid Act all partners, directors and employees of a panel firm are also considered to be included on a relevant panel, and can work on legally aided matters. However, under the panels model only practitioners who have been approved as Panel Certifiers can receive grants of legal assistance on behalf of a client. As such, for a firm’s membership to be active, individual practitioners employed by the firm must be approved as Panel Certifiers.

Full details of the panel membership model can be found in Information package: Family Violence Panel (pdf, 1.06 MB).

Entry requirements

It is essential that firms and practitioners are familiar with the entry requirements, including the assessment guidelines supporting the requirements, before applying for the panel.

The assessment guidelines included with the entry requirements provide essential information about how we will assess applicants against the entry requirements. Firms and practitioners who are not able to meet the entry requirements may be eligible for an exemption.

Individual practitioners who have been approved as members of the Independent Children’s Lawyer Panel, or as Panel Certifiers on the Child Protection Panel or Family Law Panel, are automatically eligible for Panel Certifier status on the Family Violence Panel. This is because the skill, experience and capacity requirements for those other panels have been developed with particular regard to family violence issues, and entry to those panels includes assessment of specific skills and capacity necessary to handle family violence (and personal safety) intervention order matters.

Practitioners who are not on one of these other panels need to meet the requirements outlined in Pathway A or B of the entry requirements. Criminal law practitioners are encouraged to apply for the panel to undertake legally assisted family violence (and personal safety) intervention order matters. The entry requirements and exemptions model have been developed to facilitate their panel application.

Firm and individual entry requirements and information about the assessment process and exemptions to entry requirements are available in the Information package: Family Violence Panel (pdf, 1.06 MB).

When to apply

Firms and private practitioners can apply at any time, as the Family Law Panel is continuously open.

Please note we are preparing to review its Section 29A Panels application process. To accommodate this review, any applications received and assessed after 1 August 2017 will be approved for 12 months only. Practitioners approved during this time will be contacted after the review has been completed to identify if further information is required to extend the period of approval.

Application forms

Private law firms employing one or more private practitioner applicants must submit a completed Section 29A panels firm application form. Only one firm application is required per firm regardless of how many private practitioner applicants it employs.

Private practitioners employed by the firm who are seeking approval as Panel Certifiers must each submit a completed Family Violence Panel application form (pdf, 304.07 KB).

Completed forms must be submitted via email to panels@vla.vic.gov.au. Paper applications will not be accepted.

For further information about the application form and process, please refer to the Information package: Family Violence Panel (pdf, 1.06 MB).

For an alternative accessible format of the Family Violence Panel forms please contact us at panels@vla.vic.gov.au.

Contact

If you would like more information, please contact:

Panels Co-ordinator
Email: panels@vla.vic.gov.au
Phone: (03) 9606 5264