Information for lawyers

Collaboration focuses on improving quality of criminal trials

A working group of private criminal lawyers and Victoria Legal Aid staff met last week to discuss developing quality tools that could improve the effectiveness and efficiency of criminal trials funded by legal aid.

Delivering High Quality Criminal Trials project manager Gavin Green said the meeting reflected the project’s commitment to collaborating with the profession to improve quality.

The project aims to ensure that our major expenditure on criminal trials delivers quality for clients, efficiency for the courts and value for money for the community.

New commitment to child support follows help with debt

Tom’s story

At the time his marriage was falling apart, Tom* was working as a professional in a multinational company.

He was on a significant income and following the separation made substantial monthly payments to support his two children.

After a while, depression and anxiety over the relationship breakdown began to impact on his work and he was forced to resign.

His payments were reduced to the annual minimum allowed of $320 a month, less than half of what he had been paying.

Change to family law trials and final hearings guideline

A change to the family law trials and final hearings guideline will come into effect on 1 September 2014. From that date, funding for legal representation at final hearing will be available where people who are legally aided meet new eligibility criteria concerning family violence.

The change to Commonwealth family law and child support guideline 18 follows Victoria Legal Aid having monitored the family law guidelines implemented in early 2013, and the concerns raised about the impact on people who are victims of family violence.

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