We provide duty work for daily remands at courts and unrepresented clients in Koori Court. An unrepresented community member in Koori Court approached our service on the day of court after being advised by his previous lawyers that he wouldn’t require representation. He had a long history with multiple findings of guilt and some significant terms of imprisonment. He faced a mandatory licence loss and potential for another short term of imprisonment. He was clearly a person who required legal representation.
He is a devoted father, having recently regained custody of his children, and a gifted artist whose talent was sadly revealed in custody. His improved family circumstances required his continued presence in the community, not custody, and his ability to drive his children to school, some 30 minutes away was paramount. Through our advocacy, we were able to defer his sentence to allow him time to deal with the loss of his licence and not jeopardise any opportunities for his children to attend school and community events. He demonstrated his ability to put plans in place, found support in the community he didn’t know he had, and further highlighted to the court and the elders his successful rehabilitation.
Ultimately, he did not receive a term of imprisonment and his art is now permanently displayed in the Koori Court.