Webinar: Legal advice as a human right: can early access to legal assistance make a difference to safety in Family Violence Intervention Order matters?

10 December 2021, 1:00PM-2:00PM

On International Human Rights Day – and on the final day in the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence – co-hosts the CIJ and ARC Justice pose the fundamental question:  can early access to legal assistance make a difference to safety in family violence matters?

Following a tumultuous period of change across the court system, are women in need of protection getting the supports that they need? Are vulnerable young people – often misidentified as perpetrators of family violence – getting access to early supports which can make a difference to their court outcome? How has the pivot to remote hearings been benefiting court users and have these benefits been reaching all who need them?

Drawing on the CIJ’s research to support implementation of Recommendation 77 of the Royal Commission into Family Violence, this webinar will explore the benefits of early legal advice and assistance from different perspectives. The panel discussion will feature findings from ARC Justice’s research into the needs of Affected Family Members in regional Victoria; reflections on the benefits of providing pre-court support to young people by Youthlaw; and reflections on the emerging benefits of pre-court support from Victoria Legal Aid.

Overall, this crucial discussion will signal that access to legal assistance needs to be centred as a fundamental, rather than a luxury, in our collective response to gender-based violence. Given that the value of independent legal advice is under question now more than ever, this discussion is crucial for all committed to improving responses gender-based violence.