Victoria Legal Aid

Law reform

We work to improve the law for all Victorians.

We are committed to building a better justice system for all Victorians.

The Legal Aid Act 1978External Link requires us to take innovative steps to reduce the need for our individual legal services. One way we achieve this is by pursuing improvements in law and policy that result in better outcomes for our clients and the community, as detailed in our Outcomes Framework.

Search past submissions using our Library catalogueExternal Link .

Our strategic advocacy priorities

The following principles guide our strategic advocacy:

  1. As part of our ongoing commitment to upholding First Nations peoples’ right to self-determination, we will work collaboratively with Aboriginal community-controlled organisations to inform our advocacy and reform work, and support truth-telling and treaty processes in Victoria.
  2. Our advocacy is shaped by the experience and expertise of people directly affected.
  3. We recognise that different aspects of identity – including race, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, age, and socioeconomic status – intersect to affect people’s experiences of discrimination and inequity.
  4. We acknowledge and challenge structural discrimination, with a particular focus on structural racism, to improve access to justice and build fairer laws and systems.

Our priorities

  1. Work with First Nations communities and communities of colour to advocate to end their over-criminalisation and disproportionate representation in the youth justice and child protection systems.
  2. Bail, sentencing and summary offence reforms to ensure that imprisonment is a sanction of last resort and to reduce involvement in the criminal justice system.
  3. Raise the age of criminal responsibility to 14 without delay and embed the necessary supports children and young people need to thrive.
  4. Strengthen police accountability and criminal justice system oversight.
  5. Mental health reforms that promote consumer rights, embed consumer leadership and increase accountability, to ensure we work toward the elimination of compulsory treatment and seclusion and restrictive practices.
  6. Strengthen rights and accountability across Federal systems, with a particular focus on migration and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
  7. A self-determined approach to the welfare of First Nations children.
  8. Reforms to the child protection system that improve fairness and support families to stay together where it is safe to do so.

We may also undertake strategic advocacy work in response to emerging or urgent systemic issues or to reform processes (for example, reviews, commissions, inquiries or legislative change) that are not identified in these priorities.

Disclaimer: The material in this print-out relates to the law as it applies in the state of Victoria. It is intended as a general guide only. Readers should not act on the basis of any material in this print-out without getting legal advice about their own particular situations. Victoria Legal Aid disclaims any liability howsoever caused to any person in respect of any action taken in reliance on the contents of the publication.

We help Victorians with their legal problems and represent those who need it most. Find legal answers, chat with us online, or call us. You can speak to us in English or ask for an interpreter. You can also find more legal information at www.legalaid.vic.gov.au

Reviewed 07 February 2024

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