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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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June 15, 2016

Prime minister, it’s time to acknowledge and act on the crisis in community legal centre funding

Update, Friday 29 July: Federal Government responds to our open letter to prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on the legal assistance funding crisis.

An open letter to Malcolm Turnbull, Prime Minister of Australia

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June 02, 2016

Fact-checking Attorney-General Brandis on community legal centre funding

Federal Attorney-General George Brandis has been repeating a tired and misleading defence to media reporting of a 30 per cent cut threatening community legal centres nationally from July next year.

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May 27, 2016

Community legal peak appoints respected lawyer, campaigner and advocate as new executive officer

Respected lawyer, campaigner and advocate Serina McDuff has been appointed as executive officer of the Federation of Community Legal Centres, the peak body for 50 community legal centres in Victoria.

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May 24, 2016

Money for mobile blackspots in Geelong as legal help blackspots worsen under Federal cuts

As prime minister Malcolm Turnbull announces money for mobile blackspots in Corangamite, he is neglecting existing blackspots in free legal help and making them worse with more than $34 million in cuts left in place in the Federal Budget amid a broader Federal funding shortfall of $100m over four years.

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May 16, 2016

Community lawyers join call for urgently needed boost to all legal assistance services

Community legal centres are set to join tomorrow’s rally in support of increased funding for legal aid, and for broader legal assistance services including community legal centres, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (ATSILS), and Family Violence Prevention Legal Services (FVPLS).

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May 12, 2016

Family violence legal assistance announcement manifestly inadequate, community lawyers say

Today’s Federal Government announcement of $30 million over three years for family violence legal assistance will fail to reverse cuts to community legal centres and is manifestly inadequate to meet the needs of women seeking protection from family violence, according to the Federation of Community Legal Centres, the Victorian peak body representing more than a quarter of Australia’s 200 community legal centres.

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