CLEAR - Community Legal Education and Reform Database

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1. Gippsland Legal Assistance Forum
CLC/Agency: Gippsland Legal Service
Contact Person: Bruce Mapperson
Jurisdiction: VIC
Date Added: 22-06-2017

Aims of Gippsland Legal Assistance Forum 1. To act as a contact point for legal services assisting disadvantaged and vulnerable individuals in the region; 2. To provide a forum to enable legal services and communities of interest to exchange information and identify local issues requiring support or response; 3. To build the capacity of legal services across the region, and 4. To coordinate the promotion of legal services and the delivery of community legal education across the region. Strategy We will meet these aims by: • Being the recognised central point of legal services in Gippsland. Where possible and appropriate, collating information, research and projects which support the aims of GLAF; • Encouraging organisations to...

2. Blue Card system review
Contact Person: Dr Berry Zondag
Jurisdiction: QLD
Date Added: 07-02-2017

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.

3. One Law For All
CLC/Agency: ARDS Aboriginal Corporation
Contact Person: Howard Amery
Jurisdiction: NT
Date Added: 06-12-2016

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.

4. Social Housing Consultation - tenant video submissions
CLC/Agency: Kingsford Legal Centre
Contact Person: Edwina MacDonald
Jurisdiction: NSW
Date Added: 07-04-2015

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:

5. Smart Justice Project
CLC/Agency: Smart Justice (Federation of Community Legal Centres et al)
Contact Person: Michelle McDonnell
Jurisdiction: VIC
Date Added: 29-10-2014

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.

6. Pro Bono Legal Services in Family Law and Family Violence
CLC/Agency: Australian Pro Bono Centre
Contact Person: Daniel Jacobs
Jurisdiction: ACT WA NSW NT QLD SA TAS VIC Commonwealth
Date Added: 24-02-2014

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.

7. Alcohol Management Plans Review
CLC/Agency: Junkuri Laka Community Legal Centre
Contact Person: Dr Berry Zondag
Jurisdiction: QLD
Date Added: 28-01-2014

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.

PDF 8. Why didn't you ask?
CLC/Agency: Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre
Contact Person: Bonnie Renou
Jurisdiction: VIC
Date Added: 11-11-2013

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.

9. Planning Reforms webpage
CLC/Agency: Environmental Defender's Office (NSW)
Contact Person: Emily Ryan
Jurisdiction: NSW
Date Added: 12-06-2013

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.

10. New Voices/New Laws
CLC/Agency: National Children's Youth Law Centre
Contact Person: Kelly Tallon
Jurisdiction: NSW Commonwealth
Date Added: 16-01-2013

New Voices/New Laws is a partnership project between NCYLC and Children's Legal Service of Legal Aid NSW. It aims to:

  • educate young people about the criminal laws that can apply to sexting and cyber bullying; 
  • encourage young people to voice their opinions on these laws; 
  • amplify their voices and opinions; and 
  • facilitate advocacy for reform of inappropriate criminal laws and penalties.
11. Standing Firm for Change: A Journey to Justice National Conference 2012
CLC/Agency: Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service
Contact Person: Sam Nixon
Jurisdiction: Commonwealth
Date Added: 18-05-2012

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...

12. Climate Change Act
CLC/Agency: Environment Defenders Office (Vic.)
Contact Person: Elizabeth McKinnon
Jurisdiction: VIC
Date Added: 27-04-2012

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.

13. Carbon Farming Initiative
CLC/Agency: Environment Defenders Office (Vic.)
Contact Person: Elizabeth McKinnon
Jurisdiction: Commonwealth
Date Added: 27-04-2012

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.

14. Reforming Mining Law in Victoria
CLC/Agency: Environment Defenders Office (Vic.)
Contact Person: Elizabeth McKinnon
Jurisdiction: VIC
Date Added: 27-04-2012

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).

15. Act for the House, Not the Tenant
CLC/Agency: Footscray Community Legal Centre
Contact Person: Laura Berta
Jurisdiction: VIC
Date Added: 03-04-2012

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.

16. Refugee Tenancy and Housing Project
CLC/Agency: Footscray Community Legal Centre
Contact Person: Laura Berta
Jurisdiction: VIC Commonwealth
Date Added: 03-04-2012

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:  

  • a legal tenancy clinic providing free legal advice and representation to people of refugee background living in the western suburbs of Melbourne; 
  • community legal education; and 
  • community development initiatives. 

The Project's findings and recommendations are presented in Making it Home: Refugee Housing in Melbourne's West, which documents underlyi...

17. Reform of marginal renting
CLC/Agency: Tenants' Union of NSW
Contact Person: Dr Chris Martin
Jurisdiction: NSW
Date Added: 04-10-2011

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.

18. Compensation for non-economic loss
CLC/Agency: Tenants' Union of NSW
Contact Person: Ned Cutcher
Jurisdiction: NSW
Date Added: 30-09-2011

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.

19. Residential Tenancies Act 2010 and Regulation
CLC/Agency: Tenants' Union of NSW
Contact Person: Chris Martin
Jurisdiction: NSW
Date Added: 30-09-2011

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.

20. Safety and sustainability of rental property
CLC/Agency: Tenants' Union of NSW
Contact Person: Chris Martin
Jurisdiction: NSW
Date Added: 30-09-2011

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...

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