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LIV welcomes recommendations to improve family violence legal response

LIV welcomes recommendations to improve family violence legal response

By Kerry O'Shea

Child Welfare Family Court Justice Marriage 

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The Law Institute of Victoria welcomes the report of the Royal Commission into Family Violence and is examining its recommendations for improvements in the way the legal profession responds.

LIV past president and family violence portfolio chair Caroline Counsel said the legal profession stands ready to assist with legal reforms.

Ms Counsel said the LIV recognised that it was too difficult for family violence victims to negotiate their way through the legal system.

One family could be involved in litigation in the Family and Federal Circuit courts, Children’s Court, the Family Violence and Criminal Divisions of the Magistrates’ Court and, in cases of serious criminal offences, the County or Supreme Court. Families often find themselves dealing with both State and Federal courts.

“This complexity means that we must continue to work together across the entire family violence sector to deliver better outcomes for all Victorians.  It also means that we must review the recommendations with a view to seeing what we already know works well, make suggestions on areas for improvement and have on going conversations about how we can best assist government deliver on its expressed promise to implement the recommendations.” 

In particular the LIV welcomes and supports the recommendations of the Commissioner that:

  • Emphasises the need for urgent reform across the Victorian state and federal jurisdictions to improve information-sharing practices and between the various courts and organisations which assist survivors and families at risk of experiencing family violence
  • Highlights the need for a more integrated holistic ‘whole of system’ approach to better meet the needs of families, particularly children, who are at risk and trying to escape family violence where survivors can go to a ‘one stop shop’ for initial assessment and to triage their immediate needs;
  • Stresses the need for Government to significantly increase investment in Aboriginal community controlled services, in particular ones aimed at prevention and early intervention as well as culturally sensitive services to respond to Aboriginal families as an urgent priority
  • Reiterates that proper and effective administration of justice requires both the victim and perpetrator to be legally represented;
  • Highlight the need for greater the focus for programs that bring the perpetrator to account for acts of violence and encourage them to gain insight into their behaviour and the effect it has on their family to break the cycle and  increased monitoring of perpetrator
  • Recommends increased funding for specialist bodies including Senior Rights Victoria, Intouch Multicultural Centre against Family Violence and Women with Disabilities Victoria so they can provide training and advice to service providers so providers can better respond to and meet the needs of older Victoria, people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities and people with disabilities.

The LIV is also a member of the Family Violence Taskforce, convened by the Magistrates Court of Victoria, which includes representatives from State and Family courts, police and agencies.

 

For further information regarding this media release please contact:
Kerry O'Shea, General Manager, Public Affairs & Legal Policy

T: 03 9607 9373
E: media@liv.asn.au


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