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Law Institute of Victoria welcomes justice sector investment

Law Institute of Victoria welcomes justice sector investment

By LIV Media

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The large investment in the legal assistance sector and justice facilities in today’s State Budget will help the justice system recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Law Institute of Victoria.

“This budget is a timely response to the challenges of the pandemic and will help keep the wheels of justice turning,” LIV President Sam Pandya said.

“We welcome the additional $47.3 million funding invested in audio -visual technology, as well as the investment in our Courts with the new court facility in fast growing Wyndham, a new specialist family violence court and upgrades at Sunshine court,” he said.

My Pandya said the government got the focus right by also investing $28.5 million to assist young and disadvantaged members of the community with access to community legal services including more support for Victoria Legal Aid’s on call service.

“Vulnerable clients have suffered during COVID-19 from lack of face to face access to independent legal advice, and lack of access to technology. Those charged with criminal offences need a private space to consult their lawyer; the elderly and some from migrant communities need independent legal advice to ensure their legal rights are protected. More funding for legal aid is always a priority,” Mr Pandya said.

The Courts including VCAT required new funding to ensure that cases can continue digitally, in person, or a hybrid of both. The justice system had made great strides since March transforming into a digital world. But some of infrastructure is out of date and not fit for purpose.

“Transformation of old courts, especially in rural and regional areas, is welcome and necessary to allow them to meet the needs of clients and those with legal needs and we are pleased the budget has provided funds to allow this to happen,” Mr Pandya said.

The LIV also welcomed the $20.2 million to ensure the rights, responsibilities and voice of Traditional Owners continues to be upheld and protected. This includes a new commercial and cultural hub in Bendigo which will provide a space for the Dja Dja Wurrung people to share and celebrate their culture and identity with the local community.

Additional funding for crime prevention and youth justice is also welcome, including $11.8 million over four years to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal children and young people in the youth justice system, and delivery of the Aboriginal Youth Justice Strategy.

 

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


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