Criminal justice

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.

'Swift and Certain’ Sentencing Of Family Violence Offenders In Victoria

Liberty Victoria is mindful of the profound, pervasive, often catastrophic impacts of family violence in Victoria, and the need to develop holistic and sustained strategies to prevent and reduce family violence. Our organisation’s core concern is maintaining a society in which people’s rights, freedoms and dignity are valued and protected.

Proposed Activities (Public Amenity and Security) Local Law 2017

In Liberty's view the City of Melbourne’s proposed Activities (Public Amenity and Security) Local Law 2017 (“Amending Laws”) are draconian in their nature and target some of the most vulnerable persons in our community.

Liberty Victoria has had the opportunity to read and consider the submissions of the Infringements Work Group (“IWG”).  We fully endorse those submissions which are consistent with the preservation of the human rights and civil liberties of persons in our community who suffer the misfortune of homelessness. (A link to this submission will be posted shortly.)