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Law Institute of Victoria calls for increased State Budget justice investment

Law Institute of Victoria calls for increased State Budget justice investment

By LIV Media

Access to Justice Advocacy Courts 

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The Law Institute of Victoria has called on the State Government to invest in 10 key justice areas in this month’s State Budget.

LIV president Stuart Webb said the priorities reflected the Call to Parties key issues released by the LIV before the 2018 State election.

“While many of our priorities require long-term funding commitments, we are calling on the state government to make further inroads into supporting access to justice in this budget,” he said.

“We hope Attorney-General Jill Hennessy will be able to convince her Cabinet colleagues of the importance of improving access to justice for all Victorians,” he said.

The LIV top 10 justice priorities are:

  • Access to justice
  • Court resourcing and services
  • Metropolitan and regional Legal infrastructure
  • Health and wellbeing of the judiciary and legal profession
  • Property and Environmental Law Changes
  • Judicial independence and discretion
  • Accountable policing
  • Health justice partnerships
  • Justice reinvestment and young people
  • Human rights protections

Mr Webb said the big-ticket item was increased legal aid funding. He said the federal government committed less than $20 million nationally in extra funding to legal assistance in the 2019, well short of the $390 million shortfall identified by the Law Council of Australia. This puts an unfair burden on the States to make up the shortfall.

The LIV also supports Justice Impact Tests to ensure every government policy factors in any impact on the justice system. “We cannot continue to fund extra police, and make changes to the law which see more people in our courts and jails, without taking a whole of justice system approach,” Mr Webb said.

The LIV is also calling for increased funding for the courts to relieve current pressures through appointments of more court staff to reduce delays in hearing cases. Improved court infrastructure and more resources for rural magistrates is also required.

“Not all justice priorities are big expense items, but we hope the government will commit to some additional resources in this year’s budget,” Mr Webb said.

Contact: Kerry O’Shea, Public Affairs Manager M: 0408 727 279 or Karen Michael Media Officer T: 03 9607 9597 E: media@liv.asn.au


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