Friday 3 July 2020
A note from Rob Hulls, CIJ Director

Covid 19 has been an emotional roller-coaster for all; we are bouncing between feelings of frustration, anxiety, anger and fear.  These are natural feelings in times of uncertainty, but promising strides are being made as the world’s best minds work on a vaccine, and more broadly, industries are taking this time to consider alternatives to current models of work, a legacy of COVID that may see huge work/life benefits for employers & employees.  

At the CIJ we are busier than ever using this time to continue our work advocating and promoting alternatives to the adversarial form of justice...innovating and helping others deal with, and overcome, the complexities in their lives.

The work we do at the CIJ is all about trying to improve the lives of people who come into contact with the justice system, particularly in these most difficult times.

The latest from CIJ

Student engagement during COVID
Throughout semester one, the Centre for Innovative Justice adapted its student program to continue our engagement with RMIT Juris Doctor students while they studied remotely. Through a weekly newsletter, JD students were given an overview of justice issues arising from the coronavirus pandemic, with an explanation of the related legal policy. The newsletter covered issues such as police powers, homelessness, prisons, an explanation of the bail laws in Victoria and most recently the issue of deaths in custody. 
In addition to this, the CIJ ran a weekly webinar series How did you get here? where we interviewed a variety of legal professionals who shared their career journey. The series invited students to participate in an interactive session and offered a perspective on the breadth of career pathways a law degree can offer.

In semester two, the CIJ is working with our partners LACW, Young Workers Centre and Youthlaw to offer offsite placement opportunities to engage Juris Doctor students in project based research tasks and development of community legal education resources. Open Circle is offering students internship opportunities to gain experience in restorative justice practices. We are also working closely with the Neighbourhood Justice Centre to offer a virtual taster placement for students that includes a virtual tour of the Centre and a presentation from community lawyers from Fitzroy Legal Service and Victoria Legal Aid.

Education, student participation and student engagement continues to be a  focus of the CIJ's work.

Getting the most from working together: integrated services report
The Federation of Community Legal Centres has released a new report looking at integrated practice within community legal centres who are partnering or integrated with other services. The report highlights the critical need for these emerging models within the community legal sector and showcases the integrated practice in one of our partner agencies Law and Advocacy Centre for Women. Funding and support for innovative and emerging ways of supporting vulnerable groups is essential now more than ever. You can read the report here.
News, views and resources

To end on a positive note...

Stay Safe!

- CIJ Team
CIJ stands in solidarity with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and those across the world fighting for the end of oppressive and racist laws and policing.
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