Stop parking fines from ruining your day – all the information you need is in one spot.

Have you ever been shopping and lost track of time? Then you walk past another person’s car seeing them getting and ticket. You walk faster towards your car and have that sinking feeling as you see a fine on your windscreen. Stop parking fines from ruining your day.

Confused about where to park? Our guide can help!

Confused about where to park? Our guide can help!

Parking fines are a recurring issue that frustrate drivers on a daily basis. Parking signs can be difficult to understand. Parking rules tend to differ between councils. Once you receive a fine, information on your rights and options can be difficult to find. To help, Victoria Law Foundation has produced Parking, the law and you, a free, easy to understand guide to parking laws in Victoria.

Developed in consultation with local councils, the guide simplifies parking rules and signs. It includes pictures of the most common signs and an explanation of what they mean, helping drivers to to work out where they can and can’t park.

One of the main reasons people ignore fines is not knowing what to do next. Depending on your circumstances the guide outlines your options and also explains where to go for more information and help.

Parking, the law and you will help you to navigate through parking laws and avoid fines.  It is perfect size to keep in your car and refer to on the move.

Download or order Parking, the law and you or contact our publications team on 9604 8100 or publications@victorialawfoundation.org.au to find out more about our free publications.

Taking the law to more students than ever before

In just five months our new schools program, Classroom Law Talks, has successfully reached over 500 students! We launched the new program earlier this year in the regional town of Sale, during one of our Law Talks Intensive programs.

The response from students, teachers and presenters has been extremely positive, with feedback and demand far exceeding our expectations. One student recently told us: “The trip [to Wangaratta County Court] was invaluable for legal studies students as we were able to witness what we had learnt in action and it also increased and broadened our knowledge on the legal system.” – Year 12 Student, Benalla College

Peter Ryan MP and The Honourable P.D. Cummins launch Classroom Law Talks in Sale.

Deputy Premier The Honourable Peter Ryan MP and Foundation Char The Honourable P.D. Cummins launch Classroom Law Talks in Sale.

Classroom Law Talks builds on our existing work connecting students in rural and regional Victoria with the legal profession. It has already seen students from as far away as Mildura, Wodonga and Morwell discussing legal topics with barristers in their own classroom, or visiting their local court to hear from a judge and witness the law in action.

This new program is a valuable addition to our Schools Education Program, which aims to inspire and engage students in the law – something that will hopefully lead to a lifelong interest and understanding of legal issues. The program would not be possible without the generosity of the County Court judges and members of the Victorian Bar who contribute their time for the students.

This fantastic initiative builds on our successful Law Talks Intensive program – a free, two day event for VCE legal studies students that has been running since 2006. Held twice a year in different regional centres around Victoria it provides an interactive addition to the curriculum, otherwise unavailable outside the metropolitan area.

Students taking part in Law Talks, March 2013

Students taking part in Law Talks, March 2013

This week we’re in Warrnambool for the second Law Talks Intensive of the year. With over 300 student from nine surrounding schools attending, we’re well on track to improve Victorian students’ access to the law, right across the state.

For more information on Law Talks, visit our website or contact our Education Coordinator. If you have an idea for a legal project that will help to improve Victorians’ experience and understanding of the law but need funding to make it happen, why not talk to our Grants and Awards Manager to find out if you could be eligible for a grant from us.

Noisy neighbours?

Which seems more like your neighbourhood?

Or this?

Fact is, either way, we can rarely choose our neighbours.

We all like to think we’re reasonable people but even the most harmonious neighbourhood can become a nightmare if neighbourly disputes get out of hand. There will be times when what your neighbour does on their property affects you and vice versa. So who do you turn to when this happens?

We’ve just launched a new guide to help prevent neighbourhood disagreements from turning into neighbourhood disputes and ending up in mediation, or even court. Neighbours, the law and you is a free, comprehensive guide for all Victorians on their rights and responsibilities as a neighbour. It covers some of the most common neighbourhood dispute issues including fences, trees, noise and pets.

Developed in consultation with our friends at the Dispute Settlement Centre of Victoria, Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre and the City of Booroondara, and written in easy to understand language, this little guide is now available from local councils, MP offices, neighbourhood houses and many more locations across Victoria.

Or simply visit our website to download a copy and share it widely with your neighbours or local community. You can also email us at publications@victorialawfoundation.org.au to order hard copies to hand out to your friends.

Now there’s no excuse not to be prepared if Mr Bean moves into your street!

Kick start your legal project

Do you have an idea for a legal project that has the potential to change the way Victorians think about the law and the legal sector?

Our next grants round is now open and we’re looking for legal projects to fund. Not sure if your project fits? Read our Grants and Awards Manager Erin Dolan’s tips for applying for a foundation grant. And remember you don’t need to be a legal organisation or legal practitioner to apply.

Contact Erin today and talk to us about how we can help you get your project off and running. Applications close on 10 September 2013.

In our most recent grants round we awarded grants to these five great projects:

  • Human rights in three minutes
    Castan Centre for Human Rights Law will create a series of three minutes videos explaining which human rights are protected by Victorian law.
  • Discrimination Law Clinic
    The Disability Discrimination Legal Service will create a new state-wide Discrimination Law Clinic to help the legal and community sector to identify and address all types of discrimination, including age, race, religion, gender and disability.
  • VCAT planning appeals
    Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) will develop online video guides to help Victorians have a greater say in planning decisions being considered by VCAT.
  • Victorian trial of supported decision making
    The Office of the Public Advocate will offer isolated people with intellectual disabilities support to make their own decisions by matching them with an appropriately trained volunteer.

Sir Redmond Barry: visionary or scoundrel?

At Victoria Law Foundation, we think that every Victorian should have the right to access information and education – and so we’re celebrating the life of one of Melbourne’s founders, who famously thought just the same! This week it’s the 200th anniversary of the birth of Sir Redmond Barry, the brilliant and charismatic Irish lawyer who arrived in Melbourne in 1839, and founded both State Library of Victoria and the University of Melbourne. You might know of Sir Redmond Barry as the Supreme Court judge who ordered the execution of Ned Kelly – but there’s a lot more to the story of this memorable Melbourne character than this.

redmondbarryfellowship

Sir Redmond Barry, University of Melbourne
University of Melbourne Photographs
(UMA/I/1506)

Sir Redmond was so keen to for everyone to be able to access books and information that he opened his own collection of books and journals to everyone: in the 1840s, you could just knock on the door of his cottage, at 97 Bourke Street, and spend some time in his personal library of over 3000 books.  He founded the State Library of Victoria in the same spirit, arguing that that everyone should be able to access information about the law – or any other branch of learning they chose. He insisted that ‘persons of both sexes and all notions about fourteen years of age’ must be ‘admitted free without letter of recommendation, guarantee, payment, signature or address, or ticket of admission’.

Sir Redmond certainly raised some colonial eye-brows, both with his liberal views on access to education, and also with his lively private life (on journey from London to Sydney, he was confined to his cabin for carrying on an affair with a married lady passenger; in Melbourne, he had a well-known and long-lived affair with Mrs Louisa Barrow, for whom he built a house in Brunswick Street).

In the words of the Melbourne Argus, in 1880, we’re grateful that Sir Redmond took the ‘splendid opportunity for the founding of two such noble institutions as the Melbourne University and the Free Public Library’, and we’re looking forward to the events at the State Library this week that celebrate this ‘genial host’, ‘entertaining companion’, and founder of Melbourne’s great tradition of providing public access to quality information and education.

Sir Redmond Barry

And by the way, we think Sir Redmond would have been proud to wear the Victoria Law Foundation’s Law Week sash last year!

Visit www.barry-bicentennial.net for a list of the various talks and events celebrating the Sir Redmond Barry Bicentennial at the State Library, the University of Melbourne, the Supreme Court Library and the Old Melbourne Goal.

Thanks for another great Law Week.

Law Week 2013 has now wrapped up after another successful week full of great events across the state getting people involved in the law.

Over the week, hundreds of Victorians found out more about the Victorian legal system by taking part in the many events that featured on this year’s exciting program.

There was a full house at the Sentencing Advisory Council’s Q&A and the Wheeler Centre Lunchbox/Soapbox as people came along to hear what the great speakers had to say, but also ask their own questions. You can now watch Hugh de Kretser’s talk at the Wheeler Centre online.

Hugh de Kretser at the Wheeler Centre

Hugh de Kretser at the Wheeler Centre

The RMIT Centre for Innovative Justice opened up the Old Magistrate’s Court for the first time during Law Week. An eager crowd were taken through parts of the old building before hearing a discussion on Justice: past, present and future.

Courts Open Day was once again a success – particularly with the County Court and Children’s Court joining with the Supreme Court and Magistrates’ Court this year. There was a fascinating program of events held throughout the day and the sausage sizzle was popular raising $375.20 for Berry Street.

Courts Open Day sausage sizzle

Courts Open Day sausage sizzle

Thanks to everyone who came along to our events to learn more about how the law works. We’d love to hear your feedback. Help us improve future Law Weeks by completing our two minute survey. Click here to take the survey.

Particular thanks to the City of Melbourne who joined Law Week this year as our event partner. The Law Institute of Victoria who were once again a sponsor and the Institute of Legal Executives who joined us as an education sponsor this year.

City of Melbourne, Law Week event partner

City of Melbourne, Law Week event partner

And a huge thank you also goes out to all of our event organisers, who’ve worked extremely hard to deliver a fantastic Law Week program. Through their hard work, thousands of Victorians now have a fresh insight and a better understanding of the law and the legal system, which is exactly the point of Law Week.

Law Week 2013 roll call:

Ag Chat Oz
Castan Centre for Human Rights Law
CE Family Lawyers
Centre for Innovative Justice
Children’s Court of Victoria
Consumer Affairs Victoria
Coroners Court of Victoria
Cosgriff Orhard Legal
County Court of Victoria
Court Network Inc
Craft Victoria
Deakin University
Department of Justice
Disability Discrimination Legal Service
Environment Defenders Office (Victoria) Ltd
Fair Work Commission
Friends of St Kilda Cemetery Inc
GLOBE
Hume Riverina Community Legal Service
Industrial Relations Society of Victoria
Juries Commissioner’s Office
Law Institute of Victoria (LIV)
Liberty Victoria
Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
Melbourne Cemetery Tours
Migration Review Tribunal
Monash University
Office of the Public Advocate
Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner
Old Treasury Building
PILCH
Seniors Rights Victoria
Sentencing Advisory Council
Sisters in Crime Australia
State Library of Victoria
Supreme Court of Victoria
Tarwirri (Indigenous Law Students & Lawyers Association of Victoria)
The Victorian Bar Inc.
The Wheeler Centre
Victoria Legal Aid
Victoria Police
Victorian Association for the Care and Resettlement of Offenders (VACRO)
Victorian Bar
Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
Wangaratta Law Courts
West Heidelberg Community Legal Service Inc

Until next year, stay in touch with us for updates on Law Week 2014 via our facebook page or follow us on twitter.

Melburnians: who’s buried in your backyard?

On last day of Law Week, it’s your chance to get acquainted with the neighbours – learn about the law-makers and law-breakers buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery in Carlton. Hear the stories of intrigue, murder and brazen white-collar crime that shaped Melbourne.

Join the

It’s Sunday, of course, and we’re sorry to say good-bye to another fantastic Law Week – thanks to everyone who supported all the great Law Week events, and hope to see you next year!