National framework to improve accessibility to Australian courts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women and migrant and refugee women
"Australia is one of the most ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse countries in the world. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population is nearing 700,000, or 3 per cent of the total population, and 11 per cent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples speak an Australian Indigenous language at home.The 2011 Census recorded that over a quarter of Australia’s population was born overseas and another one fifth had at least one overseas-born parent.More than 300 languages are spoken in Australian households.Almost half (49 per cent) of longer-standing migrants and 67 per cent of recent arrivals speak a language other than English at home. This diversity is expected to increase."
- Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity1.07 MB
40 Years of the Legal Aid Commission (ACT)
Across 2017-18, the Legal Aid Commission (ACT) is celebrating 40 years of service to Canberra and the surrounding region. Over these decades the Commission has provided legal assistance to thousands of people in need of representation at courts and tribunals, and legal advice and education to countless others. Throughout this time, the goal of providing quality legal services to the community has always remained at the heart of the Commission’s services.
To find out more about the last 40 years of Legal Aid ACT, click to download the file below.437.98 KB
Older Persons ACT Legal Service
The Older Persons ACT Legal Service is a new specialist service within Legal Aid ACT which aims to provide legal assistance to older people in the Canberra region.
For more information, visit the Older Persons ACT Legal Service page.119.17 KB
Wage Theft In Silence - Why Migrant Workers Do Not Recover Their Unpaid Wages In Australia
"This report draws on responses from 4,322 migrant workers who participated in the National Temporary Migrant Work Survey, including over 2,250 participants who expressly acknowledged that they had been underpaid while working on a temporary visa in Australia."
Family Law Pathways Network Newsletter August 2018
FLPN Newsletter August 2018
Sweeping changes to family court system
From the start of 2019, the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court will be combined in an attempt to speed up the process of settling family disputes by providing one court, one set of rules and procedures. It is hoped that the some 22,000 cases filed across the two courts will be able to reach trial sooner than the current 1.5 year period. It is expected an additional 8000 cases will be resolved each year due to the crossover in jurisdiction and procedures.
There has been scepticism from the legal community, predominantly due to the lack of consultation, and the proposed divisions within the new ‘super court’.
Senate inquiry into dowry abuse in Australia to probe ‘devastating’ impacts on women
The Senate Standing Committees on Legal and Constitutional Affairs is assessing the adequacy of Australia’s family law and migration law systems in addressing dowry abuse, after media investigations uncovered a spate of horrific deaths resulting from the cultural practice. It will also consider the potential links of dowry abuse with family violence, forced marriage, modern slavery, as well as mental health outcomes for women.
The Committee is currently accepting public submissions, and will consult members from affected communities, advocates and peak body organisations. A final report is due back on 6 December 2018.
Domestic Violence offenders no longer allowed to question abuse victims in Family Court
Legislation has been introduced by the Federal Government to eliminate the ability of self-represented litigants to cross-examine their victims during family law matters, in an attempt to curb community concern and avoid further trauma of victims. The changes mean that where there are clear allegations and/or convictions of violence, the perpetrator is unable to cross-examine the victim of the violence. Courts also now have the discretion to stop direct cross-examination where domestic violence is alleged, and are required to put in place extra protection for alleged victims if questioning is permitted.
“Senior Sitter” ad sparks call for better vetting of aged care workers to reduce elder abuse
In response to a newsletter advertisement offering to mind seniors in clients’ homes on a freelance basis for payment, a Gold Coast solicitor is calling for Australia to introduce a coordinated system for screening people who work in the aged care sector, similar to Working with Children Checks. The solicitor has raised concerns as to the safety of the elderly who could be placed into the care of unvetted individuals, and a vetting process would help guard against elder abuse.
CFCA Paper: Diagnosis in child mental health
This paper encourages practitioners in the child and family welfare sector to examine their own understanding of diagnostic systems, and to critically reflect on the role diagnosis plays in their work. The diagnostic systems employed in Australia are still being debated, and emerging evidence suggests that certain mental health conditions may be overdiagnosed in children. The Paper finds that current diagnostic systems are not scientific certainties, rather are cultural tools to understand different varieties of psychological distress and impairment.
CFCA Resource Sheet: The intersection between the child protection and youth justice systems.
This resource summarises data collected linking the child protection system and youth justice supervision in Australia. It finds that young people in the child protection system are much more likely to be under youth justice supervision than the general population. The reasons for this are multiple and complex, and involve a range of risk factors including a history of maltreatment, social disadvantage, out-of-home care experiences, trauma and developmental delays.
While only a minority of young people involved in the child protection system were also under youth justice supervision in 2014–16, those who were represent a comparatively high proportion of the total number under youth justice supervision
Training and Conferences
2018 National Family Law Conference
Registrations are now open for the annual National Family Law Conference, this year held in Brisbane. Speakers including current and past Justices, psychiatrists, psychologists and other experts will speak on a range of issues including Arbitration, Psychopathy, self-represented litigants, property disputes, and therapy for family violence perpetrators.
Date: 2-5 October 2018
Location: Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
Registration and more information: https://www.familylawsection.org.au/events/event/2018-national-law-conference-52
The Stanley Cohen Distinguished Research Award is sponsored by the Oregon Family Institute. The award was created to recognize outstanding research and/or research achievements in the field of family and divorce. The award is named for the late Dr. Stanley Cohen, founding member of AFCC who served as executive director and co-editor of the Review.
Children and young people in separated families: Family law system experiences and needs
Final Report 2018
Research Report— June 2018
This report sets out findings from the Children and Young People in Separated Families: Family Law System Experiences and Needs project, a qualitative study commissioned and funded by the Australian Government Attorney-General's Department (AGD). This study aimed to investigate the experiences and needs of young people whose parents had separated and had accessed the family law system.
Direct cross‑examination in family law matters
Incidence and context of direct cross‑examination involving self-represented litigants
A comprehensive application to solve shared parenting challenges once and for all.
- Understand your parenting schedule at a glance.
- Manage shared parenting expenses and payments.
- Share and store vital family details.
- Document and organize your communication within one secure app.
- Simplify requests for parenting time exchanges, reimbursements, and more.
The World Health Organisation refers to elder abuse as 'a single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust which causes harm or distress to an older person'.
In 2016, Legal Aid ACT made a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission on the topic of Elder Abuse. This submission paper was titled 'Protecting the Rights of Older Australians From Abuse'.
This year Legal Aid ACT received funding to launch a specialist legal service for older persons. If you are an older person seeking legal advice, please contact our Older Persons ACT Legal Service (OPALS).
Legal Aid ACT has also developed a number of factsheets on the issue of elder abuse. These can be downloaded from the Information and Education page.970.88 KB
Domestic and Family Violence
WE CAN HELP - call 6207 1874 or 1300 654 314 for an appointment.Read more...
DUI and Licensing 2018 schedule
Free legal information. Driving under the influence & licensing matters.165.85 KB