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Specialist Family Violence Courts (SFVC) Best Practice Framework

A professional framework to guide and support SFVC Legal Services delivery of high quality, trauma informed and culturally appropriate family violence duty lawyer services.


Why was the Best Practice Framework developed?

The Best Practice Framework was developed as Initiative 11 of Victoria Legal Aid’s (VLA) SFVC Legal Practice Model. This initiative sought to collaborate with the family violence service system to develop best practice materials to support duty lawyers and legal support staff in providing quality services at court.

The Best Practice Framework consists of professional skills and knowledge to equip SFVC Legal Services staff with the capabilities to deliver high-quality, trauma informed and culturally appropriate family violence duty lawyer services. This framework complements VLA’s existing family violence duty lawyer manual, which provides comprehensive guidance on the legal and procedural aspects of duty lawyer practice in family violence intervention order proceedings. That duty lawyer manual can be downloaded from the link immediately below.

Duty lawyer manual for family violence and personal safety intervention order matters
Word 281.06 KB
Updated 10 Aug 2023
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Who should use the Best Practice Framework?

This resource will assist duty lawyers and legal support staff delivering family violence duty lawyer services. It can also be used by senior lawyers in their mentoring and supervision of junior practitioners, and as a reference tool to encourage discussion and critical reflection in debriefing and supervision sessions.

While this resource has been developed as part of the SFVC Legal Practice Model, we encourage its use more broadly by VLA and Community Legal Centre (CLC) lawyers, and private practitioners delivering family violence duty lawyer services across Victoria.

Overview of the Best Practice Framework’s key themes

The Best Practice Framework comprises the following four themes:

Each theme discusses the requisite knowledge and practice skills in detail. There are also links to literature for further reading and training for practitioners wishing to undertake additional professional development in particular areas.


If you have any feedback in relation to the framework or encounter technical issues, please contact Leanne Sinclair, Associate Director Family Violence Response, at