Court Network is a front-line community organisation that supports people in accessing the court system. They provide the community with volunteers who stand beside, empower and instil confidence in all court users. They provide support, information and referral to people attending court and to advocate for the needs of all court users. They empower and increase the confidence of court users in managing the requirements of the courts. The focus of our Mission is to provide non-legal support, information and appropriate referrals to other services, such as family violence services, victim support, housing, mental health and community legal centres. The service is delivered by over 450 highly trained volunteers, we call them 'Networkers', on a non-judgemental and confidential basis. Court Network's service is an important component of accessing justice. People may feel vulnerable or disadvantaged; they may be attending court for the first time; be unfamiliar with court rules and processes; lack knowledge of what is expected of them; feel frightened and unsafe; or be representing themselves in a matter. Some may not feel confident with English as a language, or simply need someone to listen, provide support and assist them in navigating the court system. Court Network's service meets an urgent need. Last year, we assisted more than 180,000 people across Victoria and Queensland who were required to come to court, including victims of crime, vulnerable witnesses and family members of homicide victims or deceased persons. Court Network's service philosophy is based firmly in the belief that anyone who comes to court is entitled to be treated with dignity and respect. They should have information about court processes explained to them. Therefore, we extend our service to people accused of crime, and to the family members and friends who are there to support them.
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