Use of regulatory regimes in preventing the infiltration of organised crime into lawful occupations and industries

In October 2014 the Victorian Law Reform Commission (the Commission) was asked to examine and report on how the law can better prevent organised crime and criminal organisations from infiltrating occupations and industries.

Regulatory regimes include licensing, registration requirements and fit and proper person tests. 

The Commission reviewed various lawful occupations and industries in Victoria and elsewhere:

  •  to find out which regulatory regimes are effective 
  •  to develop principles for assessing the risk of organised crime infiltrating a lawful occupation or industry.

The Commission published a consultation paper in June 2015, requesting submissions.

The Commission completed its report in February 2016. The report was tabled in Parliament on 25 May 2016

The Consultation Paper posed a series of questions at pages 72 to 74. Liberty did not respond to all the questions posed. Much of the discussion in the report touches on the potential for organised crime groups to infiltrate various lawful industries and occupations, or the concern that this may be occurring and is unregulated or insufficiently regulated. The data supporting the extent of alleged infiltration is slim and largely anecdotal.

Liberty concentrated on the 2 central aspects of the consultation paper. Firstly, the absence of sufficient data upon which to base a platform for change to the regulatory environment of the target industries and occupations, and the difficulty inherent in data collection and secondly our concern that police powers not be expanded to fill a perceived void in the regulatory framework.

The Consultation paper posed a number of questions which were difficult to respond to in the abstract. Liberty is concerned that any reforms to industry practice and specific occupational groups aimed at disrupting organised crime do not at the same time create an excessive burden on individuals seeking to pursue their livelihood in a lawful manner. A firm evidentiary foundation should be the basis for any radical changes to business and industry regulation.

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