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Letter to Attorney-General

Letter to Attorney-General

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Letter to the Attorney-General on mandatory sentencing for attacks on emergency services and health workers.

The Law Institute of Victoria ('the LIV’) reiterates its strong opposition to the Government's proposals in the Justice Legislation Miscellaneous Amendment Bill 2018 ('the Bill') to elevate injury offences against on-duty emergency workers, custodial officers and youth justice custodial workers (‘exposed workers’) to Category 1 offences that are subject to a mandatory minimum custodial sentence or other custodial order, and to narrow the 'special reasons' exceptions.

The LIV is concerned that the Victorian Government has introduced such a complex Bill without conducting an effective consultation with the community.

This letter outlines the LIV’s following concerns with the Bill:

  • The introduction of mandatory custodial sentences and the removal of special reasons to protect exposed workers from harm is not justified.
  • Several provisions of the Bill likely contravene the Victorian Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.
  • The Bill disproportionately affects vulnerable members of the community, including young people and those that engage with Victoria Police.
  • An increase in funding for the justice system, including Court funding and legal assistance funding, will be necessary to meet the increased demand resulting from the implementation of this Bill.
  • The changes to the committal process may result in delays, increased expenses and a lack of procedural fairness for those within the criminal justice system.

Any delay in cross-examination of witnesses before trial in certain sexual offence cases may deny procedural fairness and the impact of the removal of the Basha procedure is unclear.

You can read the LIV's letter to the Attorney-General here (PDF).


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