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Access to Justice measures will help vulnerable Victorians

Access to Justice measures will help vulnerable Victorians

By LIV Media

Access to Justice 


The LIV today welcomed the state government’s response to the Access to Justice Review which has embraced most of the review’s 60 recommendations in a move that will significantly increase services to vulnerable Victorians, LIV president Belinda Wilson says.

The LIV has long advocated for reforms to the Victorian justice system to ensure that access to legal representation is available to all who need or desire to engage legal professional services. Many of the recommendations it made in its submission to the Access to Justice Review were adopted.

The government has accepted or accepted in part 57 of the review’s recommendations, making a commitment to invest $34.7 million in measures aimed at reducing the barriers disadvantaged people face when accessing the legal system. Three recommendations are under further consideration.

“The LIV is pleased the state government has taken up many of the suggestions we made in our submission to the Access to Justice Review,” Ms Wilson said. “The state government should be congratulated for listening to the access to justice issues and for providing a strong response and investment to improve the system.”

Among recommendations made by the LIV that have been taken up by the government are:

  • funding for specialists to support and help self-represented litigants navigate the legal system
  • increased transparency, efficiency and accountability in the operation of Victoria Legal Aid and grants for legal assistance
  • options for diverting people from civil litigation and into alternative services where appropriate, such as a ‘triage’ model.

The state government has committed $6.26 million towards increasing alternative dispute resolution services for small claims at VCAT to help more people resolve legal issues earlier and avoid hearing costs. Almost $800,000 will go towards planning for an Australian-first pilot for an online dispute resolution service.

“These investments will make a real difference for disadvantaged people being able to access justice in Victoria,” Ms Wilson said. “This will improve access to important legal services for the people that need it most across our state.”

Ms Wilson also welcomed the decision to establish the Victoria Law Foundation as a centre for excellence for data analysis and research.


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