The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) expresses our deepest sympathy for the victims of last Friday’s tragic events in the Melbourne CBD as well as to their families and friends.
The LIV welcomes the Victorian government’s announcement this morning to set up a comprehensive review into the state’s bail system, to be conducted by former Supreme Court Justice Paul Coghlan, and to act immediately to establish a night court for magistrates to hear bail requests after hours.
The LIV welcomes the opportunity to contribute a considered submission to the review and will do so in due course.
LIV President Belinda Wilson has also welcomed Premier Daniel Andrews’ statement that expense will not be a barrier to ensuring the outcomes of the review are fully implemented.
The LIV believes reform of the bail system requires a collaborative approach and input from a range of experts including criminal lawyers, mental health practitioners, police and drug and alcohol workers as well as the community.
We also welcome the State government’s recognition that it is important to allow a comprehensive and well-resourced process and give it the space and time to consider and advise rather than make knee-jerk decisions.
To contribute to this review, Ms Wilson has announced that the LIV will be setting up a special taskforce headed by expert legal practitioners volunteering their time and resources. This taskforce will use experience from our existing legal policy committees including criminal law, health law, human rights and technology law.
Ms Wilson says that the LIV stands ready to work with Justice Coghlan and provide any assistance and expertise from the legal community in this effort to review the state’s bail system.
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