Monday 27 August 2018
Court Services Victoria has welcomed today's funding announcement for Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja, the fourth phase of the Victorian Aboriginal Justice Agreement (AJA4).
Included in the AJA4 budget package is more than $12 million to improve services in Victorian courts and tribunals, including:
- $6.678 million for the expansion of Koori Courts in the County, Magistrates' and Children's courts, plus additional funding for capital expansion
- $966,000 for a designated Koori Registrar in the Coroners Court who will case manage Aboriginal coronial cases to better assist and improve the experience of Aboriginal families and ensure culturally appropriate practices
- $466,000 to strengthen services and ensure demand is met for Aboriginal people accessing the Koori VOCAT List
- $2.323 million for dedicated resources to address civil law needs of Aboriginal people engaging with Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal services
- $250,000 for a trial of Aboriginal Community Justice Reports.
The Honourable Justice Kaye AM, chair of the Courts Koori Portfolio Committee said, "Koori Courts play a most important role in the criminal justice system, delivering justice in a manner that is directed to reducing the rate of re-offending by Aboriginal offenders. Funding for the expansion of the Koori Courts is particularly welcomed, as it will enable the County, Magistrates' and Children's courts to work in areas which have not previously had access to these services."
"These programs are directed at addressing the long-standing over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system, and to enhancing their ability to access the civil courts to be able to protect their rights in those courts".
The Koori Court has more than 100 Elders and Respected Persons working together with magistrates and judges to provide cultural counsel and support to the accused coming before the Koori Court. Victorian courts and tribunals work to reduce the over-representation of Aboriginal people in the criminal justice system and increasing their access to culturally sensitive court programs. Court and tribunal programs are aligned to AJA4, and are planned and designed in consultation with the Aboriginal Justice Caucus, the Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committees (RAJAC) and the broader Aboriginal community.
Reflecting on this collaborative approach, Melissa Harrison, Manager, CSV Koori Programs and Initiatives said, "Working together with senior management, the judiciary and the Victorian Aboriginal community ensures our work is aligned to the aspirations of community. A community led approach is an important step towards supporting self-determination".
Self-determination was a foundation principle for the AJA established in 2000 in response to the recommendations of the Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. CSV is pleased to be part of the fourth phase of the Victorian AJA launch today, and looks forward to working closely with the Aboriginal community in the implementation of the AJA4.
Burra Lotjpa Dunguludja is available to download here - https://www.aboriginaljustice.vic.gov.au/
This page was last updated: Tuesday 28 August 2018 - 3:36pm