Provision of better coordinated Family Violence legal services
Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Women’s Legal Service Tasmania to provide better coordinated Family Violence legal services for Tasmanians.
Legal Aid Director Vincenzo Caltabiano said the MoU acknowledges the joint commitment of both organisations to the provision of effective and responsive legal services that address family violence.
“Legal Aid helps people access high-quality legal services by providing information, advice and representation services across Tasmania.”
Women’s Legal Service CEO Yvette Cehtel said WLST aims to assist as many women as possible effected by inequality and family violence.
“We see this MoU as identifying our point of difference to the Legal Aid Commission,” Ms Cehtel said. “We work from the basis that we are not all equal, and this impacts on women’s access to legal advice and their access to the legal system more broadly.
“We also approach our work from a trauma-informed lens and focus on warm referrals to other specialist women's service providers to provide support for our clients.”
Ms Cehtel said WLST is looking forward to working more closely with LACT to ensure as many Tasmanian women as possible receive assistance to navigate the legal system.
“The prospect of shared training opportunities and joint projects and partnerships is exciting for our legal team and can only improve the quality of service offered to Tasmanian women.”
WLST has Domestic Violence Units based in Launceston and Burnie, providing specialised legal support services to women.
“We want to encourage cultural conversations about family violence throughout the Tasmanian community and challenge the dominant culture that is permissive of family violence,” Ms Cehtel said.
Mr Caltabiano said the MoU will build a partnership to assist people who have experienced family violence to understand and use the justice system.
“Together, we will improve the co-ordination of family violence legal services to the Tasmanian community and provide a framework for collaboration and exchange of information.
“We will identify and maintain opportunities for collaboration to deliver services, including outreach services, in a targeted and cost-effective manner in pursuit of our mutual objectives.
“We will also share knowledge and skills by setting up professional networks within each organisation and participating in joint training opportunities for staff.”