CLEAR - Community Legal Education and Reform Database
Search by Method of Delivery :: Policy development
Blue Card system review
People in remote indigenous communities experience barriers entering into the workforce as a result of the Working with Children legislation. The reason is that much of the available work is with government agencies and NGO's and it is in the social services area, where "Blue Cards" are a typical job requirement. People in indigenous communities tend to have significantly more substantial criminal records than the average "mainstream" individual. The strict Blue Card regime is therefore often a barrier in obtaining work. The CLC with our local member of parliament to amend the legislation by introducing a community specific Blue Card.
One Law For All
This paper gives insights into traditional law and governance, exploring how best to incorporate Yolngu traditional law and needs in setting up a constitution for the Northern Territory's possible move towards becoming a new state.
Social Housing Consultation - tenant video submissions
We worked with local housing tenants to assist them make 10 video submissions and 6 written submissions to NSW Government’s Social Housing consultation. We offered a choice of formats because not all tenants feel comfortable expressing themselves in writing, and we wanted the Government to see and hear directly from tenants.
We developed resources and hosted a forum at a local community centre for 50 tenants to inform them about the consultation and making a submission. Staff and students assisted tenants write or record submissions. We developed consent processes for editing/sending in the submissions, and using stories in our submission.
The following resources are available for sharing:
Smart Justice Project
The Smart Justice project promotes a safer community in Victoria through criminal justice policies that reduce crime, are based on evidence, and comply with human rights.
The project utilises fact sheets, a blog, submissions, social media and public events to promote public policy debate.
Pro Bono Legal Services in Family Law and Family Violence
Despite the fact that more lawyers and law firms are becoming increasingly involved in pro bono service delivery, obtaining pro bono legal assistance in family law matters is very difficult, with many pro bono providers and referral schemes simply not accepting applications for pro bono assistance in family law.
In many areas, this assistance is also difficult to obtain via CLCs and Legal Aid. This Research Report was undertaken to uncover why this is so.
Alcohol Management Plans Review
Mornington Island has been subject to alcohol management plans (AMP) since 2003. In 2008 the conditions were varied to a "zero carriage limit", meaning a total prohibition on alcohol.
The assumption underlying this policy was that removal of alcohol would also remove all social ills associated with alcohol abuse.
However, due to the surge in illegally made alcohol (homebrew) the actual effect is that alcohol abuse has not in fact decreased at all.
A review of AMP's was introduced in 2012. Junkuri Laka CLC is closely associated with the Community Justice Group on Mornington, an agency with prime responsibility in the review under QLD legislation. The CLC will play a vital role in the review process.
Why didn't you ask?
Loddon Campaspe CLC’s Family Violence service at local courts taught us that women often arrive at court not knowing what to expect from the legal process or how an Intervention Order will meet their needs.
We also know that courts often make assumptions about what victims of family violence want from the legal system.
So we decided to take one step back and to ask women themselves what they wanted.
The project has also seen us extend our Family Violence Legal Service from three to five courts in our region.
The project has formed and strengthened partnerships with specialist family violence support organisations, regional Aboriginal collectives and community health providers.
Planning Reforms webpage
The NSW Government has released A New Planning System for NSW White Paper and draft legislation for public comment. EDO NSW has prepared a briefing note, seminar, and series of videos discussing the proposed changes and how you can get involved.
New Voices/New Laws
New Voices/New Laws is a partnership project between NCYLC and Children's Legal Service of Legal Aid NSW. It aims to:
Standing Firm for Change: A Journey to Justice National Conference 2012
Standing Firm for Change: A Journey to Justice is a national conference organised by FVPLS Victoria, an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community-controlled organisation focused on providing access to justice for victims/ survivors of family violence and sexual assault.
The conference is a significant opportunity for Aboriginal community members, leaders, workers and policy makers to confront the complexities of family violence in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and propose resolutions for change.
The conference coincides with FVPLS Victoria’s 10 years service in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities in Victoria.
FVPLS Victoria is committed to improving law and justice res...
Climate Change Act
The EDO worked to improve the design of the Climate Change Act before it was introduced in 2010, and then to prevent the State Government winding it back in 2011-12.
Carbon Farming Initiative
The EDO (Vic.) worked with government, NGOs and community members to improve the design of the Carbon Farming Initiative, and the legislation that implemented it.
Reforming Mining Law in Victoria
The EDO (Vic.) is running a long-term law reform project aimed at improving Victoria's mining laws to better protect the environment, sensitive land uses and regional communities from mining (especially for coal and coal seam gas).
Act for the House, Not the Tenant
The purpose of the ‘Act for the House, not the Tenant’ Project is to target rental properties which are in a state of disrepair in order to encourage tenants to take enforcement action against the landlord.
The Project plans to approach tenants in around 20 properties, previously identified as substandard, over an 18 month period.
Footscray CLC would offer to assist the tenant in enforcing the repairs procedures in the Residential Tenancies Act 1997 (Vic), and applying for compensation as appropriate.
The Project ultimately aims to document the outcome of repeated enforcement action against ‘repeat offender’ landlords.
Refugee Tenancy and Housing Project
The Refugee Tenancy and Housing Project was developed in response to the need for tenancy advocacy services in Melbourne’s western suburbs and in recognition of the major barrier that housing difficulties pose to successful refugee settlement.
The Project encompassed the following:
Reform of marginal renting
Reform of law covering marginal renters in NSW. Marginal renters include people living in boarding houses, crisis accommodation, student accommodation and share housing.
Paper launched in March 2011 calling for law reform, accomodation provider sustainability, social inclusion programs and reform of Licensed Residential Centres for people with a disability.
The campaign involves submissions to politicians, engaging in policy debate, facilitation of round table, stakeholder consultations, promotion of best practice, liaison with bureaucrats and local government, gaining over 30 organisational signatories in support of reform, facilitating media coverage and conducting research.
Compensation for non-economic loss
Tenants NSW became aware of the decision of the NSW Court of Appeal in Insight Vacations Pty Ltd v Young that proceedings relating to 'distress and disappointment' are subject to the Civil Liability Act 2002, and formed the view that this may severely limit tenants' proceedings for compensation.
Tenants NSW made submissions to the Minister for Fair Trading and the Attorney General seeking an exemption from the Civil Liability Act 2002 for proceedings under the Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and the Residential Parks Act 1998.
Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and Regulation
The Residential Tenancies Act 2010 passed in June 2010 and commenced in January 2011. It reflects a number of Tenants NSW's key law reform priorities, including proper regulation of databases, clearer rights for share-house occupants, and options for victims of domestic violence to end their tenancy or exclude the violent person from the rented premises.
Tenants NSW made a submission on the draft Residential Tenancies Regulation 2010, and some of our recommendations were reflected in the final Regulation.
Since the commencement of the Residential Tenancies Act 2010, we have consulted closely with Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services and kept a log of technical problems and larger policies issues identified.
Safety and sustainability of rental property
With a view to making a recommendation to the Minister for Fair Trading, Tenants NSW placed the issue of child-safe windows on the agenda of the Property Services Advisory Council, including options for law reform.
We expressed support for the recommendations of the Children's Hospital at Westmead in relation to children falling from residential buildings and maintain contact with the expert advisory group from the hospital.
We had continued discussion with relevant groups about the introduction of minimum safety standards for rental properties including mandatory installation of electrical safety switches and locks on high windows.
On the availability of sustainable energy subsidies to tenants, we started li...
Housing NSW policy and practice
Tenants NSW commenced a quarterly meeting with Housing NSW Client Service Operations to discuss operational issues. Advocates from the Inner Sydney and Illawarra Tenants Advice and Advocacy Services also attended to provide expert comment on selected agenda items.
Tenants NSW also engaged in consultation on the Housing and Mental Health Agreement (a high-level agreement across a number of government departments to replace the Joint Guarantee of Service) and attended a half-day workshop, hosted by Housing NSW, to discuss the agreement. We also provided written comments on the final draft of the agreement.
We also continued participation on the Housing NSW NGO Partners Reference Group and Living Communities Consultative Com...