Access to justice for migrant and refugee women impacted by violence: The experiences, barriers and national framework to improve accessibility to Australian courts

When: Thursday, 31st May 2018
What Time: 10:30 am AEST
Where: Online - join via your computer!
Your Hosts: Magistrate Anne Goldsbrough and Ms Maria Dimopoulos
Cost: Complimentary

About the webinar:

Australia is one of the most ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse countries in the world. While Australia benefits enormously from this diversity, it also presents systemic challenges, particularly in relation to issues of access to justice. These challenges are often magnified in the case of migrant or refugee women who have been impacted by violence. 

In 2015, the Judicial Council on Cultural Diversity (JCCD) held focus groups with women from a range of ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds. This was the first time that the courts held consultations with migrant and refugee women at a national level. The JCCD also held state roundtables with stakeholders from legal services, settlement services and domestic violence services. The outcomes of these consultations were documented in a report: The Path to Justice: Migrant and Refugee Women’s Experience of the Courts.

Some of the barriers identified affect migrant and refugee women exclusively; others are issues that affect many women experiencing family violence. However, migrant and refugee women may experience these barriers more acutely because of language difficulties, cultural differences and social isolation. 

This webinar will discuss some key issues impacting on access to justice for migrant and refugee women, including:

  • barriers to reporting family violence; 
  • communication barriers; and
  •  barriers to full participation in the court process. 

The webinar will also provide some strategies to improve access to justice for migrant and refugee women impacted by violence, as outlined in the JCCD National Framework for Improving Accessibility to Australian Courts for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women and Migrant and Refugee Women.

About the presenters:

Magistrate Anne Goldsbrough 

Anne Goldsbrough has been a Victorian Magistrate since 1996. She has undertaken all areas of the court’s work at a number of Magistrates’ Court locations, including the Children’s Court. Anne was the Supervising Magistrate for Family Violence and Family Law from 2002-2007 and oversaw the development and introduction of the Courts’ specialist Family Violence Court Division. In 2009, Anne was appointed as a Part-Time Law Reform Commissioner for the Australian Law Reform Commission’s inquiry into family violence. She was appointed as the magistrate with responsibility for the Multicultural and Diversity Portfolio in 2011. She contributes regularly to ongoing legal and judicial professional development both inside and outside the court, and to a range of community information and education programs. 

Ms Maria Dimopoulos 

Maria Dimopoulos is a nationally and internationally recognised expert specialising in the intersections of cultural diversity, gender equality and the law. As Managing Director at MyriaD Consultants, she has had extensive experience in policy formulation for Government, research for social planning and in community education. Much of Maria’s work has been aimed at promoting and enhancing cultural diversity and gender-informed approaches in the ongoing complex legal and political reform processes and in ensuring the meaningful inclusion of diverse voices and perspectives in those reform processes. She also continues to deliver judicial education programs across Australia.

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