NDIA loses appeal in test case for transport funding

An attempt by the National Disability Insurance Agency to appeal a ruling that the agency must fully fund supports accepted as “reasonable and necessary” under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, has been dismissed by the Federal Court.

Cruel paradox in repeat child abuse cases

It is unacceptable that children who have suffered the most extensive sexual abuse may be less able to receive justice in the criminal courts, the child abuse royal commission says. Commission chair Justice Peter McClellan says it is increasingly apparent that changes to the process of, and evidence admitted at, a criminal trial may be … Continued

Government reversal on cuts to Community Legal Centres

The federal government is to reverse its controversial funding cuts to Community Legal Centres (CLCs) in the upcoming budget – a move the community legal sector has described as a “huge relief”.

New Bench Book is helping people with disabilities access justice

Last week, the Supreme Court decided that Maria and Betty’s case must be heard again by a different judge because the judge did not give them the right to a fair hearing, and did not give Maria the right to equal protection against discrimination. It said the judge should have recognised that Maria was a … Continued

Prisoners are excluded from the NDIS – here’s why it matters

Inadequate disability-specific services in prison make this exclusion inconsistent with conditions in the United Nations’ “Mandela Rules”. These set out minimum requirements for the treatment of prisoners. They state health care in prison must be equivalent to that in the community. Excluding prisoners from the NDIS is also inconsistent with Articles 12 and 13 of … Continued

No pathway to release

The justice system doesn’t know how to respond to disability, particularly for Indigenous Australians, writes Patrick McGee who addressed the inaugural Australian Lawyers for Human Rights National Human Rights Conference in Melbourne on Friday.

Disabled teenager instructed to perform sex act on school bus by another disabled student

The parents of a Melbourne teenager with intellectual disabilities are seeking legal advice after he was commanded to perform a sexual act by another student on a school mini-bus which was supposed to be supervised by a chaperone. Victorian Education Minister James Merlino told 7.30 he had commissioned an independent investigation into the school’s handling … Continued

Disability Access Bench Book

This book provides information and guidance for judicial officers on their role in making the Victorian court system accessible for people with disabilities. The Bench Book has a particular focus on how judicial officers can make adjustments – including adjustments to communication and in directing hearings – where people with a disability are complainants, defendants, … Continued

Victims of Crime in the Criminal Trial Process: Report (

The Victorian Law Reform Commission’s report on the role of victims of crime in the criminal trial process was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 22 November 2016. The victim’s role has evolved over the past three decades and the report takes an evolutionary approach in proposing further reform. The Commission recommends that the victim’s … Continued