What is the Domestic Violence Court Clinic?
Co-ordinators: Assistant Professors Jodie O’Leary and Elizabeth Greene
The Domestic Violence Court Clinic is a collaboration between the Southport Domestic Violence Court and the Faculty of Law. It is a 9 week program that provides 5 students with a unique experience to be involved with the Pilot Southport Domestic Violence Court. The Southport Domestic Violence Court is a specialist court that was designed to take a holistic approach to domestic violence. It considers both civil applications for domestic violence protection orders, as well as criminal matters that relate to domestic violence.
Applicants must currently be enrolled at Bond University in a law degree programme, either LLB, JD or PLT. Applicants must have:
- Completed Criminal Law and Procedure A and B. Completion of Family Law is preferred but not essential;
- Resilience, with the ability to deal with a variety of situations;
- A demonstrated interest in criminal and family law;
- Strong communication skills; and
- A professional and mature outlook
Prior to attending at the Court, student volunteers will:
- Undertake a two-hour induction - one session with a psychologist providing a general briefing on domestic violence; one session with the Clinic Co-ordinators discussing the court itself
- Attend at the Court for a briefing with the Registrar and to meet the Magistrate if possible - usually Friday Week 2.
Typically, student volunteers at the clinic will:
- Attend one-day a week (full day) with at the Court for an eight week period - usually Weeks 3-10.
- Observe Court hearings (that are normally closed)
- Work in the Registry, filing documents and other associated registry matters
- Liaise with Court stakeholders, the Magistrate, the Registry staff, legal practitioners, service providers and volunteers
You will be shadowing the Magistrate as he hears court matters (civil applications and criminal matters) and will learn about the logistics of the court and obtain some practical experience working alongside Registry Staff. This is a unique court that was specifically designed following the Not Now, Not Ever report into Domestic Violence in Queensland. The pilot court will inform the foundation of other courts in other areas of Queensland.
At the beginning of the semester an information session is held about the clinics (usually Week 1). That information session will detail the application deadlines. Those interested in volunteering at the Bond Domestic Violence Court Clinic should submit a current Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages), academic transcript, and covering letter (maximum 1 page) to firstname.lastname@example.org . Your covering letter should include why you would like to become involved and what you hope to gain from the experience. Applications will be considered on merit and shortlisted applicants may be required to attend an interview.