Attorney-General Jill Hennessy has announced $23.1 million funding to improve court and justice processes, improving the safety of family violence victims and helping to reduce delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
The package will include $7.8 million to expand the specialist family violence legal services model – where pre-court legal advice aims to resolve family violence intervention order (FVIO) matters prior to the court listing day.
This will reduce pressure on the courts by significantly shortening court lists and supporting the safety of family violence victim survivors by providing early legal assistance.
Additional legal assistance will also be provided for vulnerable women experiencing, or at risk of, family violence while pregnant or with young children.
The funding is part of a package of more than $80 million to increase the capacity of the courts to hear and finalise more matters.
The funding also includes:
- $6 million for the Victoria Legal Aid Help Before Court service to assist people to prepare before their court date online and new legal service hubs for regional Aboriginal Victorians
- $3.6 million for audio-visual technology to support staff across Magistrates’ Court, Children’s Court and VCAT
- $5.7 million to appoint new judicial registrars and support staff to focus on simpler cases, freeing up time for Magistrates to determine more complex matters
Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said, “Those experiencing family violence do not need the added burden of unnecessary delays at court – this is about minimising backlogs to deliver the decisions and support people desperately need”.
Read the media release.