find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Natural disaster zones need lawyers

Natural disaster zones need lawyers

Legal assistance is an essential element in emergency plans and recovery strategies with regard to natural disasters such as the Black Saturday bushfires, according to the Bushfire Legal Help…

Legal assistance is an essential element in emergency plans and recovery strategies with regard to natural disasters such as the Black Saturday bushfires, according to the Bushfire Legal Help report released this week.

Bushfire Legal Help is a partnership of six Victorian legal agencies - including the Federation of Community Legal Centres, the Public Interest Law Clearing House, the Victorian Bar, the Law Institute of Victoria, the Victorian Law Foundation and Victoria Legal Aid - which was established within days of Victoria's Black Saturday disaster.

It responded to more than 2165 enquiries and provided ongoing legal support and resources to more than 800 of those affected by the bushfires.

The 40-page report found that despite myriad legal issues that can arise from a state of emergency - such as identification, wills, estates, housing and tenancy, insurance, property law and family issues - legal services are conspicuously absent from emergency management policies and plans, at both state and national levels.

The report also calls for better protection of legal and human rights during inquiries such as the Bushfire Royal Commission, and describes in detail the contributions of each of the agencies involved in Bushfire Legal Help, including personal stories of the harrowing experiences faced by victims.

Lawyers at the Kinglake relief centre, for example, assisted a young couple whose home had been destroyed by fire.

"The lawyers helped us with all our paperwork - right from getting a birth certificate for our little baby, who was only four days old, to sorting out issues with our landlord," recounted the couple.

"The lawyers worked around our needs and even called us out of hours. We are so grateful."

All in all, the report made three broad recommendations: that legal assistance be recognised as a vital component of natural disaster emergency services; that emergency health, housing, counselling and legal services be co-located in times of a natural disaster recovery; and that the legal sector inform governments and planning bodies of the longer-term legal problems created by major emergencies.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Natural disaster zones need lawyers
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Scales of Justice
Dec 15 2017
Timing ‘critical’ in unusual contempt of court ruling
A recent case could have interesting implications for contempt of court rulings, according to a Ferr...
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...