Overview of the SRLC
The Seniors Rights Legal Clinic (SRLC) was established by PILCH as one of the services provided by Seniors Rights Victoria (SRV), a specialist community legal service and joint-venture partnership between PILCH, Council on the Ageing, Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre and Eastern Community Legal Centre. SRV was established to respond to and prevent elder abuse (generally defined as an act causing harm to an older person within a relationship of trust) and to assist clients with other issues associated with ageing. For more information about SRV click here.
The objectives of the SRLC are to:
- provide free legal services to older persons who are not otherwise able to access legal services, that have regard to their human rights and dignity;
- promote and protect human rights of older people;
- remove barriers to access to justice for older people;
- respond to and prevent elder abuse;
- develop expertise and leadership in areas of elder law and legal responses to elder abuse; and
- engage in policy work and law reform.
The SRLC provides free legal services through four pro bono clinics at hospitals and health centres throughout metropolitan Melbourne. Legal services are provided by pro bono lawyers from Hall & Wilcox, Herbert Geer, Holding Redlich, Lander & Rogers and Norton Rose. For Clinic times and locations click here.
The host agencies are hubs for older persons' health and allied health services including medical, psychiatric, dental, social workers and others. Co-location of the clinics at health agencies ensures easy access by clients and facilitates referrals from other service providers with whom the client already has a relationship of trust.
Clients are generally aged over 60, in receipt of a pension or part pension and have limited assets. Areas of law that the SRLC can assist with include: powers of attorney, financial matters, housing, family arrangements, grandparenting issues and violence/abuse.
The SRLC also undertakes law reform and advocacy initiatives in order to identify laws that adversely impact the interests of older people and their access to justice and to advocate for the reform of those laws. SRLC staff and volunteer lawyers also undertake a range of community and legal education activities in order to raise awareness of elder abuse and issues associated with ageing and to increase the capacity of community and pro bono lawyers to assist provide legal assistance to older people.
If you are a legal or older persons' service provider who wishes to find out more about the SRLC, current elder law policy work and strategic litigation or any other aspect of PILCH's role within SRV, please contact us on 03 8636 4408 or