Justice Legislation Amendment (Unlawful Association and Criminal Appeals) Bill

Liberty Victoria

Liberty Victoria strongly opposes the abolition of de novo appeals. These significant reforms have been introduced without evidence-based support. The last investigation in 2006 by the Law Reform Committee of the Parliament of Victoria recommended that de novo appeals should be retained. Since then, there has been no further research by Parliament or the Victorian Law Reform Commission into the de novo appeals system. The abolition of de novo appeals could risk less people consenting to summary jurisdiction and matters before Magistrates' taking longer, which will place more pressure on the Magistrates' Court. In 2015-2016, de novo appeals represented only a small proportion of a County Court judge's work. De novo appeals have a high success rate, with 51.8% of appeals being allowed in part or in full in 2016-2017. This demonstrates that there is a need for an effective safety net.

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