The last year has seen growing community awareness of the scope of Australia’s domestic violence epidemic together with the realisation that addressing this complex social issue will require the involvement of the entire community, including the informed and appropriate engagement of the justice community. In response to this urgent need, Salvos Legal decided to address the issue of domestic violence at the first of its Lecture Series for 2016. “Domestic Violence – Be Part of the Solution” was held on 19 March 2016 at the Salvation Army’s Function Centre in the Sydney CBD. The Australian Pro Bono Centre was proud to co-host this event. The 120 participants included lawyers from the public, private and community sectors, as well as other professionals from a wide variety of community organisations.
The morning included an informative presentation from Dr Chris Lennings OAM on the psychology of domestic violence, followed by a presentation from The Hon Greg Smith SC who outlined recent changes to laws affecting how evidence can be taken from a complainant in a domestic violence matter and the powers allocated to police in issuing ADVOs. Senior Constable Genelle Warne’s stories from her work as a Domestic Violence Liason Officer with the NSW Police Force poignantly illustrated the impact of domestic violence on victims and clarified the role DVLOs play in protecting victims and bringing perpetrators to justice.
After lunch, Judge Harman’s instructive presentation provided practical training on how to prepare family matters in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia when the family has experienced or is at risk of family violence. Michelle Swift concluded the day with an interactive presentation on ethics in the domestic violence context and the complexities faced by lawyers acting in such cases. All presentations were well received by participants and the lively question times following each presentation reflected participants’ interest and engagement with the topics addressed.
Papers and presentations from this event are now available for download on the Salvos Legal website www.salvoslegal.com.au/our_services/humanitarian/resources. Recordings of some sessions are also available for download from Salvos Legal’s partner organisation iCLE www.icle.com.au.
Salvos Legal has two further Lecture Series planned this year: “Litigation in Practice” on Friday 29th July 2016 and “Migration in Practice” on Friday 21st October 2016. If you would like to receive information about these upcoming events, please email [email protected] to be added to this mailing list.