Victoria Legislation Institute President visits Echuca’s legal professionals after COVID-19

ECHUCA lawyers view the connectivity and variability of judicial infrastructure and technology as some of the challenges they face in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That said Tania Wolff, president of the Law Institute of Victoria, recently at a meeting with legal practitioners in the city.

The aim of the regional Victoria visit was to learn how lawyers and their clients recovered from COVID-19 and to discuss legal assistance, access to justice and local issues, including judicial facilities.

“The most frequently addressed problems related to the variability of the infrastructure of courts for handling cases during COVID,” said Ms. Wolff.

“Of course there were some restrictions on personal contact. Hence, the variability of dishes and the ability to manage a digital transition is an issue.

“Now that we are looking at an online court system in some ways in the future, this is going to be some kind of hybrid combination model and connectivity issues in the area continue to be a challenge.” & Rsquo

But switching to virtual court hearings also proved beneficial for some.

> ” I spoke to a family law firm where she said she represents a lot of farmers.

“Some tell us that their clients find it better and less concerned about registering for a lawsuit or mediation online rather than going to Melbourne for everything.

“Of course, you need to distinguish between those who are more vulnerable and who don’t necessarily have access to devices or secure connections to manage this.

” I think we will have part of the backlog reaction, like figuring out which measures we will keep and to what extent. ”

For Ms. Wolff, a hybrid system in which some things could be heard from a distance was a logical decision.

“Procedural and administrative matters can be handled remotely and virtually easily and efficiently,” she said.

“Other matters that might be more complex would benefit from a personal solution.

” And with some requests, it is important that you, as an attorney, can communicate and communicate powerfully for your client, for example about why a particular disposition might be appropriate, and in these cases a face-to-face conversation is better for the person and the community. ”

As for the Echuca courthouse itself, a $ 5 million upgrade last year and the Campaspe Shire Council were put on hold until a number of matters were addressed and resolved.

The upgrade would include the complete separation of the court and administrative building infrastructure as well as security improvements for court users, including separate waiting areas, increased interrogation room capacity, improved conference and hearing facilities and improved access to court for people in custody.

“Of course you have to be able to work and get your job done and receive private instructions,” said Ms. Wolff.

“That seems like an obvious example of something that needs to be fixed.

” We advocated investment and infrastructure in court because she not only supports lawyers in their work, but also clients in the community. ”

On a workload front, family violence has increased with the outbreak of COVID-19.

“I don’t know if this is because the police are more investigating or are more aware of the issues and are more proactive, but there has definitely been an upswing on these matters,” she said.

What Mrs. Wolff said she would take to Melbourne was the tremendous benefits of being in the country.

“I want to give Melbourne practitioners, especially younger ones, an insight into what it’s like to live and practice in the countryside,” she said.

” It is difficult to attract and keep younger practitioners here, but our way of working is more flexible and it is conceivable that it will continue to do so in the future.

“It would be great if attorneys in Melbourne saw the many benefits of living and working in a community.

“You get to know your customers differently, you are part of their sports club and part of their school. Here you can have a good quality of life.”

Ms. Wolff said the feedback she received would be discussed with the judicial services and the government, as well as with various affiliate working groups and consultations.

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