Important legislative changes to CCOs

get link From 29 September 2014, important legislative changes commenced concerning Community Corrections Orders (CCO). This changes have been made by the Sentencing Amendment (Emergency Workers) Act 2014, some of which commenced operation on 29 September 2014.

nascita opzioni digitali Change to s. 5 of the Sentencing Act 1991 

follow link Section 5(4C) now provides that a court must not impose a sentence that involves the confinement of the offender unless it considers that the purpose or purposes for which the sentence is imposed cannot be achieved by a community correction order to which one or more of the conditions referred to in sections 48F, 48G, 48H, 48I and 48J are attached.

deposito minimo 10 usd opzioni digitali Amendment to s. 36 of the Sentencing Act 1991

New section 36(2) provides that without limiting when a community correction order may be imposed, it may be an appropriate sentence where, before the ability of the court to impose a suspended sentence was abolished, the court may have imposed a sentence of imprisonment and then suspended in whole that sentence of imprisonment. Amendment to s. 44 of the Sentencing Act 1991 re combination of CCO and imprisonment

Section 44 now provides that in the County and Supreme Courts CCOs may be combined with a term of imprisonment of up to two years (following deduction of any pre-sentence detention) for most offences, excluding “arson offences”: s. 44(1) Sentencing Act 1991.

For “arson offences” a court can now impose a CCO in addition to any sentence of imprisonment, subject to the maximum penalty for the offence: s 44(1A). An “arson offences” is defined in Clause 5 of Schedule 1 of the Act as:

(a) an offence against any of the following sections of the Crimes Act 1958:

(i) section 197 (destroying or damaging property) in circumstances where the offence is charged as arson;

(ii) section 197A (arson causing death);

(iii) section 201A (intentionally or recklessly causing a bushfire);

(b) the common law offence of arson;

(ba) an offence against section 66 of the Forests Act 1958 (placing inflammable material for the purpose of causing fire);

(bb) an offence against section 39C of the Country Fire Authority Act 1958 (causing fire in a country area with intent to cause damage);

(c) an offence of conspiracy to commit, incitement to commit or attempting to commit an offence referred to in paragraph (a), (b), (ba) or (bb).

These amendments now make it possible for an offender to be sentenced to a term of imprisonment involving a period of parole and a CCO.

Where an offender is sentenced to a CCO and a term of imprisonment, the CCO commences on his or her release from prison or, if he or she is released on parole, on completion of that parole period: s 44(3) Sentencing Act 1991.

Please note that other provisions of the Sentencing Amendment (Emergency Workers) Act 2014 have not yet commenced operation.

Casenotes: Velkovsky (VSCA) and Honeysett (HCA)

The CBA is happy to share material written by members for others to read, particularly summaries of recent cases. Summaries of 2 recent cases are now included on our ‘Publications’ page. Thanks to Harry Venice for his work:

If you have written a paper or case note and would like to share them with members, please email them to Simon Moglia or Karen Argiropoulos.

Baseline sentencing CPD (lunchtime, Tues, 23 Sept)

This presentation will provide a summary of the data and findings in the Council’s new report ‘Calculating the Baseline Offence Median’. It is intended to assist practitioners to understand the implications of the Sentencing Amendment (Baseline Sentences) Act 2014 (Vic) (the Act).

In the report, the Council explains:

  • how the median counting rules prescribed under the Act differ from those used in the Council’s Sentencing Snapshot series
  • how much lower the current median sentences are compared to the medians prescribed under the Act
  • issues to consider when evaluating the baseline reforms
  • difficulties in predicting how the Act will influence future sentencing practices.

The presentation also discusses some of the challenges that exist to identifying common factors of those charges that receive the baseline median sentence, and previews the Council’s upcoming work in relation to some of the baseline offences.

Computer bootcamp – book now

The Bar and CBA present the first of a series of lunchtime tutorials to assist barristers who are challenged in the use of information technologies. The Bar’s Alison Rock will help members with the use of Outlook for email and Word to create and edit documents. If you have a laptop please bring it with you. Places are limited and bookings are essential.

For more information and/or to make a booking please contact; CPD co-ordinator, May Lim 9225 7985 or or CBA Vice-Chair, Michael Cahill 9225 8151 or

Law Council of Australia Discussion Paper on Mandatory Sentencing

The Law Council of Australia has published a Policy Discussion Paper on Mandatory Sentencing. It is an excellent resource that reviews various mandatory sentencing regimes in existence around Australia, addresses the arguments commonly advanced in support of such regimes, details the Law Council’s reasons for opposing mandatory sentencing and explores some possible alternatives. The Discussion Paper is available online here.


Victorian Bar expresses concern over proposed ‘coward punch’ laws

The Criminal Bar Association welcomes the media release issued by the Victorian Bar today expressing concern about the operation and effect of the Sentencing Amendment (Coward’s Punch Manslaughter and Other Matters) Bill 2014 which would require judges to impose a mandatory minimum non-parole periods of 10 years imprisonment for ‘one punch’ manslaughter cases.

The Criminal Bar Association opposes mandatory sentencing in all its guises. Mandatory sentencing is ineffective, inefficient, is likely to lead to unjust outcomes and undermines the judiciary and the court system.

Suspended sentences no longer available

From today, suspended sentences are no longer an available sanction under the Sentencing Act 1991.

This means that suspended sentences cannot be imposed in the Magistrates’ Court for any offence committed from 1 September 2014, or in the Supreme and County  Courts for any offence committed from 1 September 2013.