Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton said physical and communication access barriers in court can make it difficult for some people with disabilities to participate equally and receive a fair hearing.
"This Bench Book will go a long way towards assisting people with disabilities to access justice on an equal basis with others," Ms Hilton said.
Specific chapters look at equality and human rights protections – and how courts may need to address disabilities before, during and after hearings.
The Bench Book, an online resource for judicial officers, responds to a recommendation from the Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission's report Beyond Doubt: the experiences of people with disabilities reporting crime.
The Bench Book will be launched this afternoon at the Law Institute Victoria of by Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner Kristen Hilton and CEO of the Judicial College of Victoria Samantha Burchell.
It was produced in consultation with peak disability sector groups and overseen by a steering committee of Judge Elizabeth Gaynor (County Court of Victoria), Magistrate Ann Collins (Magistrates' Court of Victoria), Genevieve Nihill (Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal), Phil Grano (Office of Public Advocate) and Charlene Micallef (Office of Public Prosecutions Witness Assistance Service).
The Bench Book is available from the Judicial College of Victoria website.
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