We make policy and law reform submissions as part of our efforts to represent the concerns of our clients and promote social justice for the wider community.

2024

Parliamentary Inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024
Fitzroy Legal Service is pleased to contribute to the parliamentary inquiry into the Migration Amendment (Removal and Other Measures) Bill 2024 this April, drawing on its longstanding work with migrant community members, our employment law migration clinic, and newly launched migration law program.   In our submission, FLS raised serious misgivings ...
about the proposed Bill highlighting its risk of non-compliance with Australia’s obligations under the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees.   Read More  
Attorney-Generals Department Exposure Draft of the Family Law Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2023
Fitzroy Legal Service is pleased to make a submission to the Attorney-General’s Department in response to its exposure draft of the Family Law Amendment Bill (No.2) 2023. Following the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Final Report, the Commonwealth Government’s Bill proposes vital amendments to the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) to support separating couples resolve property and financial matters in a safe and equitable manner.   Drawing on our family law and family violence ...
practice with victim survivors of family violence and other forms of gender-based violence, FLS recommends a suite of amendments to ensure that the Bill achieves fairer outcomes particularly for victim-survivors of family violence who are most at risk through this process. We welcome the opportunity to join 86 other advocates, family law and women’s safety groups to contribute this important reform.   Read More  

2023

Independent consultation on the introduction of a Medically Supervised Injecting Service in the City of Melbourne
Fitzroy Legal Service is pleased to provide a submission to the Victorian Government’s independent consultation into the injecting drug harms in the City of Melbourne and stands in support of the proposed medically supervised injecting service.   Drawing on extensive experience of providing specialist legal services for Victorians whose engagement with the legal system is underpinned by drug use,
href="https://fls.org.au/2023/03/10/fls-joins-calls-for-a-supervised-injecting-service-in-the-cbd/">FLS is a strong supporter of the trial and enthusiastic in relation to the health and justice possibilities through such a service.   Read More    

2022

Draft National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032
In the 2020-2021 financial year, over 60% of FLS legal support to individuals involved providing advice and representation in family violence intervention order proceedings. In addition, many women and young people who access our criminal law and generalist legal practice have experienced gender based violence. In accordance with this expertise, FLS made a submission into the consultation on the Draft National Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children 2022-2032. FLS’ contribution ...
included comment on ways to improve gender equality as a driver of gendered violence, and to reduce violence against women in the legal profession.
Cultural Review of the Adult Custodial Corrections System
FLS made a submission into the Cultural Review of the Adult Custodial Corrections System. It highlights issues such as the impact of arbitrary COVID segregation, solitary confinement, Emergency Management Day policy, lack of programs in prison, and the parole system. Our submission drew on the expertise of our Prison Advocacy Program which focuses on prison conditions and the rights of people in prison. The program includes a state-side Prison Advice Line providing information and advice to ...
people in prison and their families. It incorporates quotes from the Women's Leadership Group, which consisted of women with experience of incarceration and / or criminalisation that were employed by FLS until the end of 2021.

2021

Parliamentary Inquiry into the Criminal Justice System
FLS made this contribution into the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Criminal Justice System. Drawing on our extensive work with people from criminalised communities, our submission focused on preventing people churning through the prison system. Our recommendations included considering alternatives to police as first-responders to complex social problems, promoting a public health approach to drug use and dependence, reforming Victoria's punitive bail laws and building homes, not prisons.
Parliamentary Inquiry into the Criminal Justice System – Women’s Leadership Group

The Women’s Leadership Group (WLG), which is made up of women employed at FLS who have experienced incarceration and criminalisation, wrote a powerful submission calling for an end to the expansion of prisons in Victoria.  The WLG's submission collated the voices of numerous women who had experienced ...

incarceration to document how punitive bail laws and an under-funded and rigid service-system drive women's incarceration, and women's experiences in prison perpetrate further harm and fuel cycles of criminalisation.

Unlawful Activity – Changes to the Governance Standards for Registered Charities

We made a submission to the Department of Treasury outlining concerns with proposed changes to Governance Standards for Registered Charities.

2020

Legal and Social Issues Committee Inquiry into Homelessness in Victoria

We made a submission to this Inquiry containing nineteen recommendations.

Inquiry into use of Cannabis in Victoria, Legislative Council Legal & Social Issues Committee

Our submission highlighted that the criminal justice system fails, and manifestly has done so over decades, despite enormous and blind commitment and investment, to deliver to Victorians meaningful public health outcomes in the context of the ‘war on drugs’. 

Inquiry into the Victorian Government’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

We provided a submission in relation to impacts on the communities we serve, who are facing the burdens of the pandemic and associated measures within a frame of significant economic, social and health-based disadvantage. The social determinants of health and risk factors are not static and for many, the COVID conditions have amplified the impact of particular or intersecting determinants, such as stress, addiction/ drug or alcohol ...

dependence.

2019

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System Terms of Reference
Our submission addressing the Terms of Reference of the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System.
Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System – Women’s Leadership Group submission

We supported the development of a submission by the Women Transforming Justice Project Women’s Leadership Group, to the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System

Our submission to the Royal Commission into Victoria's Mental Health System

2018

Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review of the Family Law System
In partnership with the Darebin Community Legal Centre we provided a submission to the Australian Law Reform Commission's Review of the Family Law System.  For users of the system who come from vulnerable and marginalised sectors of society, the formality, inflexibility and lack of cultural competence of the system combine to create substantial barriers to access at what is often the most difficult time of their lives.

2017

Victorian Government’s Inquiry into Drug Law Reform
Submission to the Victorian Government's Inquiry into Drug Law Reform highlighting the failure of the current law and order approach to drug control in minimising harms associated with drug use.
Social Housing Renewal Standing Advisory Committee
Our submission to the Social Housing Renewal Standing Advisory Committee was focused on the proposed sites to be affected - Gronn Place Estate (Brunswick West), Bellbardia and Tarakan Estates (Heidelberg West) and Walker Street Estate (Northcote)
Inquiry into the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Pilot Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) Bill 2017
Our submission addresses the terms of reference of this inquiry through the framework of the recommendations outlined in the report of Coroner Hawkins in relation to the Inquest into the Death of Ms A.
Parliamentary Inquiry into the Public Housing Renewal Program
We supported a joint submission with a number of Community Legal Centres to the Parliamentary Inquiry into the Public Housing Renewal Program.
Homelessness in the City of Melbourne and proposed amendments to the Activities (Public Amenity and Security) Local Law 2009
Submission to the City of Melbourne regarding proposed amendments to the Activities (Public Amenity and Security) Local Law 2009.   The Amending Law may reduce the visibility of the homeless but it will not reduce the number of homeless persons.