Legal service for women in need wins 2018 ALA Vic CJA
7th May 2018
A first-of-its-kind legal practice specifically for women who are in or at risk of entering the criminal justice system has been presented with the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) 2018 Victoria Civil Justice Award (CJA).
The Law and Advocacy Centre for Women (LACW), was presented with the Victorian CJA during the ALA's state conference in Lorne.
ALA Victoria acting President Geraldine Collins said that the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women provided a sorely-needed service for women who needed more than just legal support as they entered the criminal justice system.
“The Law and Advocacy Centre for Women is a truly deserving recipient of this year’s ALA Victoria Civil Justice Award,” Ms Collins said.
“The team at LACW provide, free of charge, specialised representation for women in areas of criminal law, infringements and victims of crime assistance tribunal applications.
“Before LACW there was no specialised service for women in Victoria dealing with criminal matters,” Ms Collins said. “LACW closes that gap.”
Ms Collins said LACW is a not-for profit legal service which provides advice and representation for women in a range of legal matters, including application for bail, advice on property or criminal charges, as well as applications for financial compensation or other support to assist healing.
Ms Collins said LACW also provides intensive case management and on-site complementary services, such as counselling and financial and housing support, to ensure that clients receive the best chance at receiving justice.
“Women who find themselves before the legal system often need more than just legal advice,” Ms Collins said. “Often they also require access to financial support or advice, to seek compensation or, where appropriate, to undertake rehabilitation treatment.”
“LACW provides all of these services and more. It’s fantastic that a legal service possesses the knowledge, the mission and the acute appreciation of the issues that bring women before the criminal justice system,” Ms Collins said.
“The work of the Law and Advocacy Centre for Women has been in the finest traditions of ALA’s mission to protect individual rights regardless of a person’s wealth, background or religious belief, and we are very proud to present this award to them today,” Ms Collins said.