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Flashcards in U3 AOS2: Reforms Deck (6)
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Recent reforms addressing court

Three tier system in VCAT
- From 1 July 2019, VCAT has 3 tiers of fees: cooperate, standard and health care card holders. HCCH fees are available to people who hold Commonwealth HCC and are capped at just over $150 regardless of the type of fee or nature of the dispute. The fees are intended to make sure VCAT remains accessible to the most vulnerable in society, and the fees are higher for companies, government agencies and businesses with an annual turnover of $200,000 or more.

Ability to achieve POJ
- Assists some people, in particular HCCH to access VCAT and pay for it without incurring higher costs
- Encourages fairness and equality by charging larger businesses higher fees


Recent reforms addressing time

Introduction of Judicial Commission of Victoria
- In 2016 the Victorian Parliament passed the Judicial Commission of Victoria Act involving long wait times for court decisions to be handed down. 2016 (VIC) which establishes a JCV. A person can make a complaint to the JCV about the conduct or capacity of a judicial officer (includes judges) or a member of VCAT.

Ability to achieve POJ
- Allows greater scrutiny of judicial officers and members of VCAT
- May ensure greater transparency and focus on time it takes for there to be an outcome


Recent reforms addressing accessibility

Removal of wigs from judges
- In May 2016 and Supreme Court of Victoria announced that judges will stop wearing wigs in all civil matters. Many believe that the removal of wigs allows the courtroom to feel more accessible to modern day Australians who find the formality of wigs intimidating.

Ability to uphold POJ
- Modernises the courts and makes them more accessible by avoiding formalities


Recommended reforms addressing costs

Increase of use of ADR's
- The Victorian Access to Justice Review recommended expanding and increasing the use of dispute resolution methods such as mediation and other methods to resolve disputes out of courtroom.

Ability to uphold POJ
- Dispute resolution methods that do not involve a final hearing can increase access to justice and reduce costs and delays


Recommended reforms addressing time

Making enforcement of VCAT orders easier
- The Victoria Access to Justice Review recommended that the enforcement of VCAT orders to be made simpler. VCAT orders require certification in court before they can be enforced. The report recommends that a monetary order

Ability to uphold POJ
- Allows parties greater ability to enforce VCAT orders that are not compiled with
- Will reduce time and costs involved if orders do not require certification


Recommended reforms addressing accessibility

Improving access to interpreters
- The Productivity Commission has recommended a National Indigenous Interpreter Service to ensure there is an interpreter service across the country for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Ability of POJ
- Will ensure greater access and understanding of processes which can address all the POJs
- Likely to require significant funding and expenditure