Plain Language Law newsletter No. 108
December 2020
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Community legal education 

Financial reporting for not-for-profits (Australia), 2020, [Webinar], Justice Connect
This webinar from Justice Connect will provide an overview of your obligations, as well as useful tools and tips, to help manage your organisation’s financial reporting requirements as we approach the end of the calendar year. It covers topics such as financial management and legal duties, financial record-keeping and reporting obligations, and audit requirements. This webinar will take place on Tuesday 8 December, 12.45pm. Register


Police powers and protests: what are your legal rights? (Australia), 2020, [Webinar], Redfern Legal Centre and DLA Piper
This webinar is for anyone who has attended a protest – or is considering attending one – and wants to know more about their legal rights, particularly in light of public health requirements as part of the COVID-19 pandemic. The webinar presenters are Felicity Graham (Barrister, Blackstone Chambers), Jane Sanders (Principal Solicitor, Shopfront Youth Legal Centre), and Peter O'Brien (Principal Lawyer and Founder, O'Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors), and will be facilitated by Samantha Lee (Police Accountability Solicitor, Redfern Legal Centre). The webinar will take place on Wednesday 9 December, 5-6pm Register

Starting a Not-for-profit Organisation (Australia), 2020, [Webinar], Justice Connect
This introductory webinar will cover how to set up and register a not-for-profit organisation, which legal structure is best, the basics of charity status and tax concessions, and whether you should incorporate. This webinar will take place on Tuesday 19 January, 12.45pm. Register


Board Inductions for Not-for-profit Organisations (Australia), 2020, [Webinar], Justice Connect
This board inductions webinar from Justice Connect will help you understand your board role so you can be a better board member. Topics covered include the main legal duties of board members, the standards the law sets for decision-making as board members, the importance of your organisation’s legal status, rules and legal purpose. This webinar will take place on Tuesday 2 February, 12.45pm. Register

Managing Legal Risk with a Diverse Volunteer Workforce (Australia), 2020, [Webinar], Justice Connect
This workshop-style webinar will use practical case studies to highlight the kind of issues you need to consider to build and grow a successful and diverse volunteer workforce. Topics covered include work health and safety issues, anti-discrimination laws, screening checks, and other legal obligations. This webinar will take place on Tuesday 16 February, 12.45pm. Register


Working Together to Tackle Elder Abuse (Australia), 2020, [Webinar recording], Elder Abuse Service, Legal Aid NSW
In this webinar recording, staff from Legal Aid NSW’s Elder Abuse Service team discuss how their interdisciplinary approach has enabled them to better understand, prevent and respond to elder abuse. The team consists of Mary Lovelock (Senior Solicitor), Tanya Chapman (Solicitor) and Lynn McLennan (Social Worker). They provide an example of how their interdisciplinary team works together to provide the best solution for the client. An interdisciplinary team is defined as a group of professionals from diverse fields who work in a coordinated fashion towards a common goal for the client. Watch the webinar recording


Family Violence and the Impact of COVID-19: Support, Prevention and Reform (Australia), 2020, [Webinar recording], Victorian Women Lawyers, WIRE Women’s Information and Nicholes Family Lawyers
This webinar recording is a panel discussion concerning the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the incidence of family violence, particularly related to lockdown and restriction measures. Watch the webinar recording


COVID-19 and Your Visa (Australia), 2020, [Webinar recording], Redfern Legal Centre's International Student Legal Service
This Redfern Legal Centre webinar examines common visa issues for international students during the COVID-19 pandemic and where to get visa advice. The webinar features three migration law experts and covers topics including how different visa types work during the COVID-19 pandemic and where to get visa advice. Watch the webinar recording

Guides to the law
Pro Bono Portal to connect bushfire-affected farmers and small businesses in NSW with free legal help (Australia), 2020, [Website], Justice Connect

Justice Connect is providing free legal help to small businesses, farmers and primary producers across NSW who have been affected by the 2019–20 bushfires.

Through their Pro Bono Portal, they are connecting eligible small business owners or farmers to their network of 10,000 pro bono lawyers to ensure people get the legal help they need to recover.

Legal problems related to bushfires can arise months into the recovery process. Often, these legal problems include issues around insurance, debt, contracts and tenancy. Getting legal help can be expensive, but it is crucial to solving or preventing legal problems and helping communities on their pathway to recovery.

Justice Connect is directing its Commonwealth funding to make a suite of upgrades to their Pro Bono Portal and online intake systems. This project will make sure that those in need of legal support are efficiently and seamlessly connected with specialist pro bono resources. Over 160 firms are now using the Pro Bono Portal to be matched with people, community groups and small businesses needing legal help.

The same funding package is also supporting Legal Aid NSW and the Financial Rights Legal Centre to provide assistance to small businesses in bushfire-affected communities. Justice Connect will be working closely with these organisations to ensure a joined-up response.

Their Pro Bono Portal has been operating in Australia for over 12 months and since its launch, they have posted over 1,000 pro bono opportunities and onboarded over 160 law firms across Australia.

For further details and to access the Pro Bono Portal, click here.

COVID-19 and human rights (NSW), 2020, [Web resources], Australian Human Rights Commission

The Australian Human Rights Commission has launched a new section of their website dedicated to human rights issues emerging from the COVID-19 crisis.

It features detailed analysis of some of the major human rights issues and free online learning modules for adults and kids on a range of human rights topics.

Visit the website »

Carer rights and complaints factsheets (NSW), 2020, [Factsheets], Carers NSW

Carers NSW has produced a new series of carer rights and complaints factsheets for family and friend carers in New South Wales. The factsheets outline the rights and complaints options carers have across a range of service systems and settings, and include factsheets on accessing aged care and disability services.

Download the factsheets »

Unfair contract term protections for consumers (Australia), 2020, [Information sheet], Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
ASIC has updated this information sheet which explains how the law protects consumers from unfair terms in contracts for financial products and services. From 5 April 2021, the consumer protections relating to unfair contract terms will be extended to insurance contracts following the federal government’s enactment of the Financial Sector Reform (Hayne Royal Commission Response—Protecting Consumers (2019 Measures)) Act 2020Access the information sheet here


Factsheets from Legal Aid NSW in relation to COVID-19

Legal Aid NSW has produced a range of resources and collated resources from other Government departments to assist individuals affected by legal issues during COVID-19. A range of factsheets about COVID-19 and the law are available on the Legal Aid NSW website. These factsheets may be useful for sharing with your colleagues or with clients who are seeking clarification about the Public Health Orders or other everyday legal problems during the pandemic.
  • Public Health Orders
  • Courts, police and crime
  • Domestic violence
  • Families, relationships and children
  • Government, social security and rights
  • Housing and tenancy
  • Jobs and employment
  • Money, debt and fines
  • Practitioner resources
  • Resources from other government organisations
The full suite of Legal Aid NSW factsheets can be found at the COVID-19 resource hub
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About this newsletter

This newsletter is produced by the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW with assistance from the Legal Information Access Centre (LIAC) at the State Library of NSW. 
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© Law and Justice Foundation of NSW, 2020.
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