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LIV disappointed by lack of consultation around mandatory sentencing legislation

LIV disappointed by lack of consultation around mandatory sentencing legislation

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The Law Institute of Victoria is seriously concerned the state government is introducing mandatory sentences for people who attack and injure emergency workers without conducting any effective consultation process with the community.

The LIV believes Victoria’s magistrates and judges must have discretion when it comes to sentencing options and have the capacity to deal with cases on an individual basis.

LIV president Belinda Wilson said: “It is disappointing the state government is not listening to the broader community about concerns relating to mandatory sentencing.

“The state government is rushing through legislation without any proper consultation process with the community as we head towards an election.

“The LIV and members of our Criminal Law Executive Committee voiced concerns to the Attorney-General Martin Pakula about mandatory sentencing but the government is pressing ahead with legislation that makes attacks on emergency workers a category 1 offence – the same as murder and rape. Under the proposed law, courts must impose a custodial sentence for attacks on emergency workers.

“There is no evidence that mandatory sentencing works or makes the community any safer but the government wants to push through its agenda with very few safeguards, especially for those people suffering serious mental health issues who are so often involved in attacks on emergency workers.

“The LIV firmly believes that Victoria’s magistrates and judges must have discretion when it comes to sentencing and have the flexibility to deal with every case on an individual basis and not be forced to hand down mandatory sentences” Ms Wilson said.

The LIV strongly condemns any assault on Victoria’s emergency workers, prison officers and health workers and agrees that they need protection, and believes magistrates and judges are best placed to hand down appropriate sentences.


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