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After an exhaustive investigation into how courts respond to family violence matters, Victoria’s Royal Commission into Family Violence recommends that a number of NJC’s signature practices should be adopted by other courts.
The Commission proposes that the wider Magistrates’ Court network embrace our online intervention order system, security processes, interdisciplinary service model, and emerging digital innovations.
While the ringing endorsements are great news for us, the real beneficiaries will be the thousands of women who come before Victoria’s courts seeking protection and sanctuary every year.
We’re very pleased to report that the roll-out of our online Family Violence Intervention Order application (FVIO Online) is picking up speed.
This digital innovation will soon be available to many more women who need the capacity to apply for an intervention order safely, securely and privately when and where it suits their needs best.
The Commission also endorses our ‘one-stop-shop’ services model.
The NJC comprises 20 independent but interdisciplinary treatment agencies that work hand-in-hand with our Magistrates’ Court.
This ‘embedded’ approach is not only a cornerstone of community justice, peak body for domestic violence services, Domestic Violence Victoria (DVV) told the Commission that the model is ‘superior’.
Our integrated services model ensures treatment workers are, as DVV rightly highlights, full members of a team, enables decisions to be made jointly, enables vital information to be shared, and gives victims tightly networked support.
The Royal Commission also suggests that our ‘dynamic’ security processes are tailor made for Victoria’s Children’s Court.
We made a conscious decision not to screen people; instead we built a ‘concierge’ function into our security contract.
Our security staff greet people with a smile, and this warm welcome gives our security a chance to flag potentially difficult clients, put people at ease, and send the subtle signal that we expect everyone to respect our staff and each other.
There is always a security guard on the court floor and a roaming guard who monitors the building from top to bottom, inside and out.
As importantly our security team attends our staff meetings and is very much part of our collegiate working environment. In this way they are not merely our contracted service providers, but part of the ongoing development of the NJC. In nearly ten years of service, we have never had a serious incident.
As excitingly, the Commission encourages the wider Magistrates’ Court network to investigate how our soon-to-be-released digital case management system may be scaled into an e-registration system.
Our digital case-management system will be an Australian first, and like FVIO Online, a game-changer. Stay tuned for more on this development in the coming weeks.