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State Election 2018: The parties respond

State Election 2018: The parties respond

By Law Institute Journal

Access to Justice Advocacy Human Rights Justice Wellbeing 

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The Labor government, the Coalition Opposition and the Greens respond to the 10 priorities identified in the LIV’s Call to Parties.

Access to Justice

The LIV is calling for:

  • A commitment to pursue an agreement through COAG to invest, at a minimum, $390 million per annum nationwide in Legal Aid Commissions, community legal centres (CLCs), Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander legal services, and family violence legal services to address critical civil and criminal legal assistance service gaps.
  • A whole-of-government approach to access to justice reform and embedding access to justice within multi-disciplinary policy and funding frameworks. This includes a commitment to consider justice reinvestment.
  • Increased funding for CLCs to provide integrated legal services for survivors of family violence.
  • A commitment to legislating Justice Impact Tests across all government departments to make it mandatory for government to consider the impact of new legislative or regulatory change on Victoria’s justice system.
  • A commitment to retaining committal hearings as an essential feature of a fair criminal justice system.

Labor

Labor remains committed to the delivery of a comprehensive program of reform and investment to improve access to justice, especially to the most disadvantaged and vulnerable in our community. We’re implementing the recommendations of the 2016 Access to Justice Review to make the courts, VCAT and the legal assistance sector fairer and faster. State funding for Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) has increased from $107.8 million in 2013-14 to $158 million in 2018-19. Labor has also increased CLC funding providing $34.2 million this term, and implemented a new, fairer fee structure at VCAT, which will also be introduced at the Supreme and County Courts by the end of 2018.

Coalition

The absence of a framework to provide legal services to those who cannot afford representation risks frustrating the administration of justice. A functioning system of legal aid is crucial to ensuring not only that the disadvantaged can receive legal representation and advice, but to avoiding court delays and interruptions which are now among the most serious problems confronting our justice system. With the Andrews government effectively cutting funding to the sector in 2015-16, it has done little to act on this since. That’s why it is critical that legal aid be targeted to where need is at its greatest. Our imperative will be to support the sector to better achieve this.

Greens

The Greens have consistently called for the Victorian and federal governments to significantly lift funding for legal aid to meet the increasing demand for community legal and co-located services to assist the most vulnerable members of our community and those experiencing family violence. Not only would this benefit people struggling with navigating the justice system but it would be more cost effective by reducing the amount of time people are before the courts. As part of our justice reinvestment initiative we would establish an Independent Centre for Justice Reinvestment and new whole of government initiatives for programs to address the underlying causes of crime in disadvantaged suburbs. The Greens support justice impact tests and the retention of committal hearings.

Court Resourcing and Services

The LIV is calling for:

  • Increased funding for courts to relieve current pressures through appointments of additional court staff including a commitment to appropriately resourcing bail and remand courts to reduce waiting times and relieve overcrowding in prisons and holding cells.
  • Greater investment in the Court Integrated Services Program (CISP) and Remand Outreach program for increased monitoring, treatment and supervision of people on bail and remand.
  • Expansion of the reach and range of specialised court division services, including the Children’s Court, Family Drug Treatment Court, Drug Court, Assessment and Referral Court, Koori Court and Family Violence Court Division, particularly in regional Victoria.
  • Increased training for specialised magistrates, registrars, support workers, police prosecutors, outreach workers and lawyers, and for magistrates exercising specialist court division jurisdiction in regional areas.
  • The retention of de novo appeals against conviction and sentence from Magistrates' Courts to County Courts.

Labor

Labor has delivered $128.9 million to increase court capacity, with a new Supreme Court judge, two new County Court judges and 18 new magistrates, and $156.1 million for the Office of Public Prosecutions, VLA and police prosecutors to support the work of these new judicial offers. The abolition of de novo appeals will further reduce the burden on the court system, prosecutors, witnesses and victims. This term has also seen more than $61 million invested in expanded CISP and Assessment and Referral Court services, $32 million for two new Drug Courts at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, and five new fully funded specialist family violence courts as part of the $1.9 billion response to the Family Violence Royal Commission.

Coalition

The last two years have seen court delays and volume increase dramatically. Given it’s costing more and taking longer for most jurisdictions to deal with cases, much needs to be done to address bottlenecks and delays. This can be achieved through a more rigorous approach to multiple and unnecessary adjournments, a better use of committals and, where appropriate, locating prisoner-related administrative hearings at or closer to their locations to reduce prisoner movements. Resourcing is always important, but it’s also about system management. National data has shown Victoria to have among the highest number of judges and magistrates in the country, yet delays and costs are increasing across the system. The Greens welcomed the much needed increase in resources to the courts including additional judges, magistrates and court staff.

Greens

The Greens support expanding the specialised court divisions which are proven to reduce recidivism at a positive cost/benefit. As part of our justice reinvestment initiative we would establish an Independent Centre for Justice Reinvestment, two new drug courts in Melbourne’s west and regional Victoria, and invest $15 million over four years to expand CISP. The Greens are committed to retaining de novo appeals. The evidence shows that Victoria’s de novo appeals promote greater equity, fairness and efficiency compared with alternative systems.

Metro and Regional Legal Infrastructure

The LIV is calling for:

  • Improved court infrastructure in regional Victoria, including improved accessibility and diversity support, safety features, video and teleconferencing facilities between an accused person and their lawyer before and after video appearances, client meeting rooms and multi-use courtrooms.
  • More resources for magistrates working in rural, regional and remote (RRR) areas, including access to training required to exercise specialised court jurisdictions (such as the Children’s Court) in RRR areas.
  • Expanding legal assistance programs and specialised court services in RRR areas, such as Drug and Koori Courts.
  • Consultation with the legal profession on planning future frameworks for legal infrastructure services and resourcing in metropolitan and RRR Victoria, including the establishment of a blueprint for justice infrastructure across Victoria to accommodate the state’s growing population.
  • A commitment to providing adequate resources to ensure County and Supreme Court hearings continue in RRR areas, together with all specialist court services being made available in all Magistrates’ Courts across the state to avoid “postcode injustice”.

Labor

Labor has delivered major infrastructure improvements to Victorian courts and made a range of investments to ensure a stronger, safer justice system. This includes the delivery of the $73 million Shepparton Law Courts, $27.6 million to plan and acquire land for new headquarter courts at Bendigo and Werribee, $70.3 million for court safety and security upgrades across regional and metropolitan courts, and $114 million for improved audio-visual and case management systems. Regional court upgrades delivered by this government include new video-conferencing facilities, safe waiting areas and interview rooms, improved building security, and court security staff at every regional court on sitting days.

Coalition

We strongly support the expanded use of technology, especially where it can be used to reduce delays and spare witnesses unnecessary anguish over multiple court appearances. The justice sector is part of our work in relation to decentralisation, a key policy touchstone that will inform a great deal of reform under an elected Liberal Nationals government. Court facilities in regional and rural areas still need upgrades to improve security and functionality, with this need intensifying as population growth continues, albeit at a slower pace than in metropolitan Melbourne. We are also keen to look at how practitioners based in regional and rural areas can have fairer access to Victorian government legal work. This will be important, among other things, for recruitment and retention of staff.

Greens

The Greens recognise that disparate conditions and services available in courts across Victoria can perpetuate inconsistent justice outcomes (one of the reasons we support de novo appeals is to help alleviate this). We support the expansion of specialist courts into RRR areas, particularly the Drug and Koori Court divisions. As part of our commitment to an equitable justice system, we support the development of a strategy to resource all courts with the requisite infrastructure and technology, programs and expertise, to ensure equal access to justice, regardless of location. We support the greater use of technology within the corrections and court systems where appropriate including video and teleconferencing facilities between an accused person and their lawyer before and after video appearances, client meeting rooms and multi-use courtrooms.

Health and Wellbeing of the Judiciary and Legal Profession

The LIV is calling for:

  • Investment in court and justice assistance systems to reduce the unsustainable workload placed on members of the judiciary, court staff and legal professionals.
  • Accompanying reform with an impact assessment that properly assesses the ability of courts, court support services and the legal profession to successfully implement the reform, taking into account the risks to wellbeing and sustainable workloads.
  • The development of best practice guidelines on how to manage mental health in the workplace and increased government funding for support services and wellness initiatives for those working in the justice system.
  • Integrated, meaningful wellness and monitoring programs, together with counselling services, to support magistrates, judges, lawyers, court staff and support services staff to effectively debrief and regularly access professional support to mitigate the stress and exposure to trauma inherent in their roles.

Labor

Labor takes court pressures and the wellbeing of judicial officers seriously, and will continue to work with courts and tribunals, Court Services Victoria and the Judicial College of Victoria to ensure our judicial officers have sustainable workloads and access to professional support as required. All judicial officers have access to a 24/7 confidential counselling service. To relieve court pressure across the system, Labor has made a record $285 million investment in new judges, magistrates, support staff, VLA lawyers and prosecutors – the largest investment in expanded court capacity since Labor was last in government – and will continue to invest in court services and infrastructure if re-elected.

Coalition

The parliament, executive and judiciary represent the three co-equal branches of government. Public expectations of each are exacting, as they should be. That said, while the community rightly expects the highest level of performance and behaviour from all branches, it is important to ensure that appropriate support services are readily available for those who experience stress or other ill-health in the discharge of their duties. We are committed to ensuring that everyone working in the justice system is able to access services to deal with any physical or mental health challenges. Where effective improvements on the existing system can be identified, we will of course implement those.

Greens

The Greens have fought against the short-term, political quick fixes to systemic, complex problems in our justice system. A consequence of these precipitous justice “reforms” has been to place unrealistic and unsustainable workloads on the legal professionals, court staff and judicial officers that operate within the system. The Greens take an evidenced-based approach to justice, and have long supported justice impact tests to ensure all consequences of reforms are considered. We also recognise that stress and exposure to trauma can be unavoidable in the work of legal staff. We fully support the development of widely accessible and sufficiently resourced support programs to assist those who are suffering health issues as a result.

Property and Environmental Law Changes

The LIV is calling for:

  • The postponement of mandatory electronic conveyancing in Victoria until security and operational problems with PEXA are rectified and there is at least one competitor to PEXA.
  • The government to require PEXA to immediately rectify its security and operational deficiencies.
  • Public consultation with relevant bodies, including the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner (VLSB+C), the Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee, the Australian Institute of Conveyancers, and the Real Estate Institute of Victoria, to resolve identified security and inter-operational problems with the current electronic conveyancing system. Greater consumer protection measures are needed as certain PEXA dealings are not covered by the Fidelity Fund.
  • The government to ensure that the proposed partial privatisation of the Victorian Land Titles Registry does not compromise the integrity, security, accuracy and privacy of sensitive data or allow it to be exploited.
  • Continued legal and policy leadership to cut greenhouse emissions, increase renewable energy targets and strengthen building and planning laws to reduce impacts of climate change on Victoria’s natural and built environment.

Labor

Labor has worked with the property and legal industries, and through COAG, towards a successful introduction of PEXA, and will continue to consult closely with PEXA users and stakeholders, including the VLSB+C and the LIV. The concession to privately operate the land titles and registry functions of Land Use Victoria will deliver $2.86 billion of investment in new schools, hospitals and transport projects. The Registrar of Titles will remain a state employee, performing a key oversight role, and data security will remain a key priority for the Registrar and the new private operator.

Coalition

The PEXA-mandated electronic movement of titles on 1 October concurrent with the titles office commercialisation, has been fraught with risk. We have noted that a scammer obtained access to a conveyancer's email and was able to fraudulently alter the account destination details in a settlement transaction. PEXA has relied on email, which can be insecure, for its communications. There is no reliable verification process in PEXA to ensure funds are directed to the correct account. There is no means of stopping a transfer once it has been made. The security of our historically important and respected titles system, the Torrens system, is at risk. The government has not appeared to have implemented appropriate security arrangements. Given the risks involved, we believed that the commencement ought to have been delayed until all the details were verified.

Greens

The Greens opposed the sale of the Land Titles Office. We were concerned by the evidence presented to the recent parliamentary inquiry, which was initiated by the Greens. We agree that the government should delay mandatory electronic conveyancing. If not, then the government must immediately resolve the security and operational issues with PEXA. We will continue to advocate that the government consults with stakeholders to ensure the integrity of the conveyancing system under private control. We are committed to holding the government to account to ensure that the integrity of the system is not compromised by the sale. The Greens will continue our leadership on addressing climate change. We have a plan for 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030, along with ending our reliance on coal, as well as embedding sustainability in all planning decisions.

Judicial Independence and Discretion

The LIV is calling for:

  • A repeal of mandatory sentencing legislation that removes the discretion of Victoria’s judiciary.
  • Government to respect the critical importance of judicial independence, the separation of powers and the rule of law by facilitating the freedom of judges and magistrates to impose sentences which recognise the individual circumstances of each case, and allow for rehabilitative and restorative sentences to be imposed in appropriate cases where such sentences offer the greatest benefit to the community.
  • Government to respect the expertise, experience and skill of Victoria’s judges and magistrates in appropriately considering and weighing all factors in determining the appropriate sentence in the circumstances of each particular case.
  • An end to political attacks and public criticism by government and opposition, including politicians, public servants and police which undermines the authority of the justice system.

Labor

The Labor government respects judicial independence which is an essential part of the justice system. There is also, however, an important role for the parliament in legislating penalties and reflecting the expectations of the wider community. This has been reflected in the Labor government strengthening statutory minimum sentences for assaults on emergency workers, ensuring that Community Corrections Orders are only used in appropriate circumstances and in the establishment of the Standard Sentencing Scheme. Even so, Labor will always respect and recognise the importance of judicial officers applying their knowledge and experience in sentencing dispositions and ensuring that manifestly unjust outcomes are avoided.

Coalition

We are concerned that sentencing outcomes for a range of serious and violent crimes have not reflected community expectations. This is despite parliament having stipulated maximum sentences for such serious crimes as a measure of the turpitude by which it has characterised the underlying offending in question. Statutory minimum sentencing has in large measure been a response to the community’s frustration at these sentencing outcomes. The sentencing changes we propose are very tough, but targeted at the worst offenders. High Court authority makes it abundantly clear that mandatory minimum sentencing does not offend the principles of judicial independence. It’s vital that public confidence be restored in those parts of the justice system that have struggled most against fair and legitimate forms of scrutiny over performance and outcomes.

Greens

The Greens have always upheld the separation of powers and the need for an independent judiciary free from political interference. The Greens do not support mandatory minimum sentences for any offence as the evidence shows they can lead to unjust outcomes and do not help to protect the community. In parliament, the Greens have consistently opposed the trend of successive governments to creating more and more offences with mandatory minimum sentences, invariably as a means of looking tough on crime. Whatever the offence, there has always been scope for the courts to take aggravating and mitigating circumstances into account when sentencing. We have been dismayed by the ongoing attacks by certain politicians on the judiciary and the Adult Parole Board, which have undermined public confidence in the justice system.

Accountable Policing

The LIV is calling for:

  • A new, independent body to investigate complaints of police misconduct, that is effective, transparent and complainant-centric.
  • Alternatively, additional funding for the Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission (IBAC) to increase its capacity to independently investigate police misconduct.
  • Changes to Freedom of Information legislation to ensure that police misconduct investigation documents can be accessed.
  • A legislative basis for formal cautioning by police to remove their discretion, and ensure that police cannot use their powers in a discriminatory way.
  • Increased privacy protections for the use of DNA information and maintaining court oversight of applications to take DNA samples from young people.

Labor

The government welcomes the cross party IBAC Parliamentary Inquiry report and will respond in line with the community’s expectation that police continue to be accountable to the communities they serve. The committee did not recommend the establishment of a new body to investigate complaints of police misconduct. The government has already taken a range of measures including appointing a new IBAC deputy commissioner to focus on complaints of police misconduct, and had before the Inquiry commenced work on legislation to strengthen IBAC's oversight of police. Victoria Police has also undertaken a range of actions to improve its complaints process to drive fairer and more timely outcomes. The government will consider the committee’s recommendations and the ways in which IBAC’s capacity to investigate police misconduct can be strengthened.

The government amended the IBAC Act and the FOI Act in 2017 to clarify that the IBAC exemption does not apply in certain circumstances where documents are in the possession of Victoria Police or other agencies.

Coalition

Members of Victoria Police do a fantastic job on behalf of Victorians. Many officers sustain grievous physical and mental injuries in the course of their service to the community and we do not share the view of some who would tarnish all with the brush of a few who engage in misconduct. We continue to support strong measures that hold police accountable, but believe that not enough attention is paid to the consequences for those who engage in violent or other criminal activity.

Police officers often have to put themselves in harm’s way. This includes protecting innocent bystanders from violent protesters who do not care at all about the rights of others and taking steps to address gang-related activity, from the more sophisticated bikie gangs to less organised gangs or networks that have engaged in riots over the last couple of years.

Greens

The Greens have long been calling for the establishment of an independent body to investigate death, injury and human rights complaints as a result of police contact. The need for such a body is even more pressing given that greater powers have been provided to police and PSOs without court oversight, including the power to hold suspects for several days. The recent report of the IBAC Joint Committee Inquiry into the External Oversight of Police Corruption and Misconduct in Victoria recommends the creation of a separate Police Corruption and Misconduct Division within IBAC and that IBAC investigate serious police misconduct, unless there are exceptional circumstances. This is a major step forward and has the potential to vastly improve the situation in Victoria if implemented well.

The recent FOI reforms are not adequate in light of the pressing necessity for governments and agencies to be more open and transparent in the way they operate. We support major reform to remove many of the exemptions in the FOI Act.

Health Justice Partnerships

The LIV is calling for:

  • Increased resourcing of frontline legal services for survivors of family violence and elder abuse, to improve response times and provide urgent assistance and legal services for survivors.
  • Funding for VCAT’s Guardianship List to facilitating the expansion of VCAT’s jurisdiction over elder abuse matters to including family agreements and assets-for-care arrangements.
  • Ongoing funding for community legal centres to expand the invaluable services provided by both issues-based and generalist health justice partnerships.
  • Specialist services for prisoners with disabilities and mental health conditions, both during their sentence (including increased forensic mental health workers and treatment facilities) and on release (including transitional support and assistance programs to improve access to health services).
  • Additional funding for legal representation for people experiencing mental illness to reduce the rate of contact with the justice system for issues such as discrimination, fines, debt, child protection, family law and criminal law.

Labor

Labor has supported the important work of health justice partnerships and integrated services with $3.4 million in funding. We continue to work with the NDIA and DHHS to ensure a smooth transition to the NDIS scheme, with a focus on ensuring those in prison and in community corrections receive disability services. There are opportunities and challenges in the transition, but Victoria is well advanced in how to best provide forensic disability services once the new scheme is operational in 2019. In 2017 Labor made the biggest investment in prisoner rehabilitation in Victoria’s history, which included a massive expansion of the programs provided to prisoners before and after they leave prison to help them to reintegrate.

Coalition

We recognise the risks to older Victorians and will establish an Ombudsman for Retirement Housing to ensure those older Victorians living in retirement and lifestyle villages feel safe and protected. An Ombudsman for Retirement Housing will provide binding resolutions to eligible disputes in the retirement housing sector. We will introduce legislation allowing police to enforce an immediate intervention order in cases of family violence, without losing critical time seeking an interim order. We will also introduce a Family Violence Disclosure Scheme that will give Victorians the right to ask and the right to know about any history of violent criminal offences of a current or former partner.

Greens

The Greens support implementation of the Family Violence Royal Commission’s 227 recommendations and welcomed the government’s allocation of $2.4 billion in resources to this issue. We will continue our campaign for greater funding to ensure every person experiencing family violence can access a CLC. We support the timely implementation of the ALRC's recommendations in regards to a national legal response to elder abuse. We also support increased funding for VCAT’s Guardianship List and the Public Advocate, and the modernisation of the Act to address this growing problem. The Greens will continue to call for more resources for early-intervention, in-prison and post release rehabilitative programs and services.

Justice Reinvestment and young People

The LIV is calling for:

  • Legislated justice reinvestment programs that are part of the Sentencing Act 1991, together with a strategic plan, that divert government spending from prisons and invest in rehabilitation to address underlying criminal justice issues, reduce offending rates, break the cycle of recidivism and increase community safety. There should be a focus on youth engagement programs.
  • Transitional support services for people leaving Victoria’s corrections system.
  • A commitment to legislate a regime for spent convictions in Victoria to prevent discrimination based on past offending. The government to ensure that the proposed partial privatisation of the Victorian Land Titles Registry does not compromise the integrity, security, accuracy and privacy of sensitive data or allow it to be exploited.
  • Funding for community legal service providers and VLA to resource a statewide expansion of lawyers in school programs, with a focus on rural and regional areas.
  • Strengthening cultural support plans for Aboriginal children in out of home care, through increased education services, increased collaborative decision making and engagement with Aboriginal communities, to safeguard the cultural rights of Indigenous children.
  • Dedicated education and resources for sporting authorities on new child safety and working with children laws.

Labor

As part of the government’s youth justice reforms, we created the new Youth Control Order, which allows young offenders to be subject to intensive supervision and monitoring by the court, as an alternative to detention. The Intensive Monitoring and Control Bail Supervision Scheme provides greater supervision, support and monitoring of high-risk young offenders while they are on bail and in the community. We have also invested $5.6 million to establish a statewide youth diversion program in the Children’s Court.

But appropriately, we have also introduced legislation to ensure that young people charged with serious offences are capable of being tried in the higher courts. We also reformed the dual track system to prevent serious repeat young offenders aged 18-20 being incarcerated within the youth justice system.

Coalition

With reoffending rates increasing over the last three years both for people coming off custodial sentences, as well as people having served non-custodial sentences, it’s critical that we restore the justice system’s credibility and authority. Breaches of sentence conditions have risen and even the Ombudsman reported in September 2015 that prison inmates were increasingly refusing to participate in programs, preferring to await straight release. Arguments that we can reduce reoffending by simply abolishing offences or categorising breaches as “administrative” are no solution. We need to review programs to ensure a stronger focus on outcomes rather than just outputs. Among our efforts in this area are a contemporary Police-in-Schools program, a plan to improve prisoner program outcomes to tackle rising recidivism, mandatory drug and alcohol treatment for young people whose offending or high risk behaviour is a result of severe substance abuse and a $38 million crime prevention package.

Greens

The Greens are committed to justice reinvestment as a smarter, more cost-effective way to prevent crime and break the cycle of offending and recidivism. We have consistently called for rehabilitation programs to begin as soon as people enter prison, not a few months before their release, and for more support for prisoners on release. A critical failure of Victoria’s youth justice system is that only one per cent of its total budget is allocated to early-intervention programs. We support a much greater focus on youth engagement programs. We have opposed new laws that promote punitive, detention based sentencing over more effective alternatives. Currently, youth detention is failing to meet the rehabilitation needs of young offenders – 80 per cent of young persons who receive a custodial sentence will reoffend. We support strengthening cultural support plans for Aboriginal children in out of home care with increased collaborative decision making and engagement with Aboriginal communities, to safeguard their cultural rights.

Human Rights Protections

The LIV is calling for:

  • A commitment to immediately implement the 52 recommendations of the 2015 Review of the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
  • A new principle in the preamble to the Charter that recognises the right to self-determination for the Aboriginal people of Victoria.
  • A new direct cause of action to enable a person to apply for a remedy, or rely on the Charter in any legal proceedings, for breach of human rights protections by a public authority to ensure that the Charter is enforceable and effective.
  • An optional alternative dispute resolution process for Charter disputes.
  • The government to legislate to prevent the detention of children in adult prisons in any circumstances.

Labor

In 2015, the government commissioned the eight-year review of the Victorian Human Rights Charter. In responding to its recommendations, we prioritised rebuilding a human rights culture in the VPS. We will revisit reform recommendations if re-elected. We worked with Indigenous Victorians to advance their right to self-determination and treaty, as well as producing the fourth Aboriginal Justice Agreement, with record funding. Labor has enhanced LGBTI rights through extensive reforms, grants, programs and the new Equality portfolio. We made a formal state apology to and implemented an expungement scheme for those convicted under historical laws regarding homosexual acts. We addressed issues relating to elder abuse through enhanced powers of attorney laws, and additional funding for the Office of the Public Advocate.

Coalition

It’s important to understand why this particular subject can be so complex. In large part, it’s because rights are often competing requiring a careful balancing exercise to accord respect to the legitimate interests of each party or cohort. There are exponents of human rights on different sides of debates who do not do enough to recognise the legitimacy of discordant rights and believe that those rights ought to be subordinated completely. For example, in criminal justice, we firmly believe that victims have not been given the voice and rights they deserve. This is something we would change with a major reform package that will dramatically elevate the role of victims in the criminal trial process.

Greens

The Greens welcomed the government’s response to 2015 Review of the Victorian Charter. We support the implementation of recommendation 27(a) for a person to apply for a remedy or rely on the Charter in legal proceedings and alternate dispute resolution processes. The Greens support recognising the right of the Aboriginal people of Victoria to self-determination in the Charter. The Greens oppose the detention of children in adult prisons as it is a flagrant breach of Article 37 of the Convention of the Rights of a Child, and s23 of the Victorian Charter. We spoke out against the gazettal of a wing of Barwon Prison to establish the Grevillea youth justice facility in 2016. The Greens strongly support codifying the prevention of detaining children in adult prisons under any circumstances through legislative reform.


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