Criminal justice

Bail Amendment (Stage Two) Bill 2017

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

Firearms Amendment Act 2018

Last week, the Victorian Parliament passed the Firearms Amendment Bill 2017 which contained a series of significant amendments to the Firearms Act 1986.

The aspect of the Bill of most concern to civil liberties and human rights is the introduction of Firearm Prohibition Orders.

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A Sentencing Guidelines Council for Victoria: Issues Paper

As noted in the Sentencing Advisory Council (SAC) issues paper, the Victorian Government announced in May 2017 that it would introduce legislation in 2018 to establish a sentencing guidelines council in Victoria. In July 2017, the Attorney-General requested the SAC to advise him on the most suitable model, following broad stakeholder and community consultation.

Update on Sentencing Amendment (Sentencing Standards) Bill 2017

Liberty Victoria made a comprehensive submission in June 2017 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.

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.

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