Criminal justice

Crimes Amendment (Ramming of Police Vehicles) Bill 2017

Liberty Victoria is opposed to the Crimes Amendment (Ramming of Police Vehicles) Bill 2017 (“the Bill”).

We note that the Bill has been introduced by the Coalition Opposition.

There is simply no need for the Bill. It forms part of the law and order auction leading up to the next State election.

Reducing trauma and delay for witnesses and victims

Liberty Victoria supports the Supreme Court’s objective of minimising delay in the criminal justice system, particularly in the period between charge and the listing of trial.

However, Liberty’s view is that the Supreme Court’s current proposal will not be effective in reducing delays and may jeopardise the accused’s right to a fair trial.

Justice Legislation Amendment (Protective Services Officers and Other Matters) Bill 2017

Liberty Victoria is opposed to the proposed expansion of the powers of Protection Services Officers (PSOs) through the measures set out in the Justice Legislation Amendment (Protective Services Officers and Other Matters) Bill 2017.

Sentencing Amendment (Sentencing Standards) Bill 2017

Updated comment - 9 August 2017:

Liberty Victoria made a comprehensive submission in June 2017 (see below) on why the Sentencing Amendment (Sentencing Standards) Bill 2017 (Vic) is unnecessary and threatens to undermine the separation of powers. Unfortunately it appears that it will obtain bipartisan support.

Sex Offenders Registration Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2017

In relation to the Sex Offenders Registration Amendment (Miscellaneous) Bill 2017, we repeat our previous criticisms of the sex offenders registration regime made in our submission on the Sex Offenders Registration Amendment Bill 2016.

In that submission we noted that there are at least three foundational problems with the current system of sex offender registration in Victoria:

(a)    The expanding number of registrants;

Bail Amendment (Stage One) Bill 2017

As made clear in our submission to the Bail Review, Liberty Victoria is opposed to the State Government’s proposal to reverse the presumption of bail in a wide number of offences in the Bail Amendment (Stage One) Bill 2017 (‘the Bill’).

Review of the Open Courts Act 2013

Liberty Victoria had the opportunity to consider the detailed submission by Victoria Legal Aid (‘VLA’) and we respectfully endorse it and its recommendations.

We also make the following brief observations on overarching principles that can be applied to all Acts that contain provisions that restrict or prohibit publication:

Harsh law and order laws 'will not make us safe'

The Victorian Government’s new law and order moves smack of desperation and will make the community less safe, not more, Liberty Victoria said today.

Commenting on today’s announcement Liberty president Jessie Taylor said, “This comes from an ALP Government that doesn't want to be wedged on law and order coming into next year's election.”

Of course the Coalition will just push more and more extreme policies to look "tougher" than the Government.

“This is a race to the bottom.

Inquiry into Drug Law Reform

Liberty Victoria welcomes the opportunity to contribute to this timely inquiry. Clear evidence from other jurisdictions, the medical profession and respected human rights organisations demonstrates that drug reform is a health and human rights issue that demands immediate attention.  We believe that now is the time for a paradigm shift Victoria. 

Our submission is divided into three parts:

Victorians deserve a fair go

Liberty Victoria’s Rights Advocacy Project has launched a report on the unfair rules around disclosure of old criminal convictions in Victoria. The report 'A Legislated Spent Convictions Scheme for Victoria: Recommendations for Reform' was launched at a Law Week event this week, where academics, lawyers and politicians discuss how we can change the rules to keep the whole community safer, and give people the second chance they deserve.