These changes include clarifying and simplifying existing guidelines in the light of feedback that they have become too complex and may be deterring private practitioners from taking on legal aid cases.
Victoria Legal Aid proposes to refine its priorities for family law litigation funding and ease restrictions on trial representation funding so that priority clients are provided a full service through to final hearing.
Victoria Legal Aid further proposes to re-introduce funding for some property matters, recognising that there is a strong social and economic rationale for assisting with these matters.
Other guideline amendments proposed expand eligibility relevant to family dispute resolution, family violence matters and recovery order hearings.
Victoria Legal Aid is also proposing a pilot expanded Family Dispute Resolution Service duty lawyer scheme to consider its impact on costs and early resolution of disputes for clients who may not be able to participate in dispute resolution without the assistance of a lawyer.
Recognising that many people are not eligible for intensive family law legal services, a number of options relevant to providing targeted and effective services to self-represented litigants were considered as part of this review.
It is acknowledged that Victoria Legal Aid, the courts and other legal and support organisations have provided various services to self-represented litigants in the past and that a more coordinated, evidence-based approach to assisting this client group is required. We propose to review existing resources and approaches in collaboration with the sector, and address gaps and duplication in family law legal information and support as required.
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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.
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Reviewed 25 January 2022