Legal Aid Queensland in need of more funding and more Zedlines

Legal Aid Queensland may require more funding if the trend of criminal cases continues to increase. (Image credit: Flickr)

Chairwoman of the Legal Aid Queensland board Kate McMurdo says the body experienced a noticeable 10 per cent  increase in grants of aid in criminal matters in 2016-2017  

Last year Legal Aid Queensland provided assistance to more than 37,000 instances of legal advice on criminal, family and civil law, prioritising domestic violence victims, helped 2835 prisoners and assisted refugees.


New court to help child sex abuse victims

A new program in New South Wales to help child victims of sexual abuse has evidence of being effective in reducing trauma and receiving the best evidence from children.

The program includes pre-recording children’s evidence and appointing trained witness intermediaries, who help children understand and clearly respond to the questions asked when giving evidence.

The intermediaries include speech pathologists, occupational therapists, teachers and social workers.

District Court Judge Kate Traill who presides over one of the courts that uses the pilot program says they have had amazing results and the program gives children a voice.  


Study shows teen drinking to be on the decline but rise in binge levels

While the prevalence of teenage drinking is declining, a recent study has found 1 in 5 who continue to drink are doing so at higher levels than their predecessors.

The study by the University of New South Wales found the top quarter of 14 to 19 year olds were drinking an average of 13 drinks per session.

The research also found teens with anxiety and depression to be more likely to binge drink.


Twice as many voters support fracking bans than those who oppose them

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has remained set in his belief that state-based restrictions on gas extraction are a risk for Australia’s energy security, but the majority of voters back fracking.

A new poll conducted by thinktank, Australia Institute, found that 49% back a temporary prohibition on gas fracking in their own state, while less than half oppose it.

The poll involving 1,421 Australians ended last week. It came as Turnbull requested the New South Wales, Victorian, and Northern Territory premiers to lift their prohibition on new gas production.


Middle-Eastern government accused of deporting Syrian refugees

The Jordanian Government is at the centre of an accusation made by US-based advocacy group for their alleged involvement in summarily deporting hundreds of registered Syrian refugees.

A 27-page document released by the Human Rights Watch chronicled the deportation of 400 refugees in the first five months of 2017.

The testimonies of 35 refugees and 13 others, who were recently deported to Syria, claim Jordanian authorities forcefully deported them without showing any prior misconduct against them. Additionally, they claim to have not been provided the opportunity to appeal or seek legal assistance.


Latest violence in Syria claims 11 lives

Coordinated blasts have taken the lives of 11 in Syrian capital, Damascus.

The attacks took place outside of a police station in al-Midan, with police officers among the deceased.

The blasts are the latest in the continued violence in the region since 2011, last month 955 civilians lost their lives in the conflict the highest death toll for a month this year.

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