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September 06, 2016

Diary ruling a step towards greater scrutiny of damaging legal help cuts, community lawyers say

Today’s Federal Court ruling requiring the reconsideration of a refusal to release the work diary of Attorney-General George Brandis under freedom of information laws has been welcomed by the Federation of Community Legal Centres.

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July 26, 2016

Community lawyers and advocates voice strong support for royal commission on youth detention

Community lawyers and advocates have strongly supported calls for a royal commission following revelations of young people held in isolation and severely mistreated in detention in the Northern Territory.

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June 23, 2016

Legal peak rejects Brandis comments, urges PM response to open letter on legal help crisis

The Federation of Community Legal Centres has strongly rejected comments by Federal Attorney-General George Brandis at this week’s legal affairs election debate, and has called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to respond urgently to an open letter on the crisis in community legal centre funding.

‘We reject the Attorney-General’s claims that legal affairs under the Federal Government have seen only “boutique controversies” and that funding for legal assistance has been “maintained in real terms”.

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June 20, 2016

Dreyfus-Brandis debate a vital chance to focus on legal help funding crisis, community lawyers say

A debate this afternoon between Attorney-General George Brandis and Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus offers a vital chance to focus on the national crisis in community legal centre funding in the lead-up to the Federal election, according to the peak body for fifty community legal centres in Victoria.

‘In the face of a Productivity Commission report recommending a $200 million yearly boost across free legal assistance services, the Federal Budget left in place more than $34 million in cuts to community legal centres amid a broader shortfall of $100 million over four years. Today’s debate can place those issues in the spotlight,’ said Serina McDuff, executive officer of the Federation of Community Legal Centres, today.

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June 16, 2016

Family violence, homelessness and the Royal Commission into Family Violence: The place of community legal help

Community legal centres (CLCs) play an essential part in the Victorian response to family violence. Most obviously, 20 CLCs provide duty lawyers for family violence intervention order matters in 29 Magistrates’ Courts around the State. These CLCs mainly assist victims – the majority being women and their children – so that they can be effectively protected from the perpetrator’s violence. The fact that CLCs specialise in this way helps victims, because those CLCs are aware of the appropriate support pathways, have close relationships with other family violence service providers, and are trained to work with traumatised clients.

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