More from: law reform and policy

Jury reasoning in joint and separate trials of institutional child sexual abuse

You are invited to attend the launch of a major new research report commissioned by the Royal Commission into Institutional Reponses to Child Sexual Abuse. The launch will be hosted by the Royal Commission’s Chair, The Hon Justice Peter McClellan AM and the authors, Professors Jane Goodman-Delahunty and Annie Cossins, will present the research and their findings, followed by a short Q&A. 

follow link Jury reasoning in joint and separate trials of institutional child sexual abuse
opzioni binarie 15 minuti strategia Date: Thursday 26 May 2016 at 5:30-7pm followed by light refreshments
  watch Location: Waldron Hall, County Court You must RSVP by email at  cantor fitzgerald binary options  by 12 May 2016

Ombudsman – Prisoner reintegration

Investigation into the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners in Victoria

On 17 September 2015, the Ombudsman tabled her report on her investigation into the rehabilitation and reintegration of prisoners in Victoria. Click here for the media release and here for the report.

The Ombudsman announced her investigation in July 2014, prompted by the growth in prisoner numbers, concerns with rates of re-offending and the cost to the Victorian community.  Click here for the media release announcing the investigation.

The investigation looked at:

  • whether services provided to prisoners are effective in reducing re-offending

  • the impact of prisoner numbers on these services

  • and whether there are any particular groups within the prisoner population that are not adequately being supported.

On 29 October 2014 the Ombudsman released a discussion paper outlining the key issues emerging from her investigation.  Click here for the media release detailing the response to the discussion paper and here for the media release when the discussion paper was published.

The Ombudsman invited interested individuals, groups and agencies to respond to the questions set out in her paper or to provide further information.

New Baseline Sentencing Information published by SAC

The Sentencing Advisory Council has published new information on baseline sentencing. For each of the seven baseline offences, the Council has created a table of information that identifies (and provides links to) published cases containing a charge of a baseline offence that has been sentenced on, or around, the median value. The information is available on the Council’s website.

Legal profession vigil for Myuran Sukumaran & Andrew Chan

The Criminal Bar Association encourages members to join with our legal colleagues to observe one minute’s silence for Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

go here What: Legal profession vigil for Sukumaran & Chan with speaker, Justice Lex Lasry

get link When: 8.30am, Wednesday 18 February 2015 Where: County Court forecourt, Corner of Lonsdale & William Streets, Melbourne

For further details see the attached media alert.

Mercy for Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan

You may have heard in the media that Myuran Sukumaran has had his application for clemency refused by the Indonesian president and Andrew Chan will likely have his rejected also.

Today it has been reported that Indonesia will wait for the outcome of Andrew’s clemency appeal before proceeding with the execution of Myuran.

The new Indonesian government has started executing again, and there is real prospect that  Myuran and Andrew will be executed in the near future.

There is a petition addressed to the Indonesian president asking him to reconsider his decision at this website:

We invite you to sign the petition and talk to your community about supporting Andrew and Myran.

For more information go to or

Australian Red Cross and the Development of International Humanitarian Law

CBA members are invited to attend the 2014 Australian Red Cross and Allens seminar.

Presented by Tim McCormack, the seminar is an opportunity to retrace the establishment of Australian Red Cross in the frenzied days after the outbreak of World War I and its development into a leader among national Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in the promotion of understanding of, and respect for, International Humanitarian Law.

Date: Thursday 13th November

Time: 6.00-8.00pm

Venue: Allens, Level 37, 101 Collins Street, Melbourne

Spaces are limited. Please RSVP by Wednesday 12 November at trybooking.

Download the flyer for more information


Research participants wanted

We would like to invite you to participate in a research project titled Implementing law reform: the outcomes and value of empirical research currently being conducted through Melbourne Law School, The University of Melbourne.
The project is examining the value of different modes of key stakeholder engagement in law reform (such as consultation, surveys, scenario-based research, and group discussions), taking proposed changes to the legal definition of rape in Victoria as its focus.
As a legal expert, we would highly value your insight and hope you might be willing and available to participate in our research.
Participation will involve completing a 20-30 minute online survey, and taking part in a 45 minute group discussion. You will also be asked to complete a 5-minute feedback form after the discussion.
Both the survey and group discussions will investigate how participants interpret and apply a proposed definition of rape to four short fact-based scenarios (‘vignettes’).
If you would like to participate, please email Anastasia Powell ( to RSVP for one of the group discussion times below (a light lunch/supper will be provided):
Thursday 30th October: 12:30pm, or 5:30pm, OR
Friday 31st October: 12:30pm.
We will reply to confirm your place in the discussion, provide further details about the research and the venue (in Melbourne CBD), as well as a link to the online survey that you can complete in your own time prior to the group discussion.
Should you have any concerns or questions about the project, please do not hesitate to contact either the Project Leader Wendy Larcombe or the Project Officer Bianca Fileborn.
I have also included a general invitation and further information about the project below, if you would like to circulate it through your networks.
Kind Regards,
Anastasia Powell
On behalf of the project team: A/Prof Wendy Larcombe (Project Leader, The University of Melbourne), Dr Natalia Hanley (The University of Melbourne), Dr Nicola Henry (La Trobe University), Dr Anastasia Powell (RMIT University), and Dr Bianca Fileborn (The University of Melbourne).

Important legislative changes to CCOs

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.

click Change to s. 5 of the Sentencing Act 1991 

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.

mujeres solteras en columbia sc 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.

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.

CBA concerned about ‘cheapening the rule of law’

The CBA is concerned that radical changes are occurring in the criminal law in a piecemeal, incoherent fashion.  This raises concerns both of substance and of form.

The substantial changes need debate.  The abolition of common law self-defence is radical.  The limitation of committals is radical, and is a measure adopted and rejected previously.

The rule of law generally is cheapened by the form of these changes.  The law needs to be stable and predictable.  Law reform is necessary, but it must proceed in an orderly manner.  Otherwise, the public, the police and the courts are unsure of the law.  If the law comes to be viewed as unstable, and subject to fickle and opportunistic alteration, it loses credibility.  That is a danger squarely raised by the current list of reforms.

The danger is magnified by the haste and lack of genuine, engaged debate.  Governments now routinely substitute the appearance of consultation for the real thing.

Narrow sectional interests drive current law reform initiatives.  The CBA now expresses its opposition both the specific reforms and to the form they take, which undermiones law generally.

Peter Morrissey SC

VLRC Report on the Review of the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997

The Victorian Law Reform Commission has published its report on the Review of the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997. The report was tabled in Parliament on 21 August 2014.

The Commission makes 107 recommendations for legislative reform in the following key areas:

• revising and clarifying the legal tests for unfitness to stand trial and the defence of mental impairment, including adding a definition of mental impairment to the law;
• extending the application of the law in the Magistrates’ Court and Children’s Court;
• extending the role of juries in determining the defence of mental impairment and reducing complexity in the content of jury directions under the law;
• improving how community interests are represented in court hearings;
• improving the level of support provided to, and acknowledgment of, victims and family members in cases under the law;
• strengthening the decision making framework for review, leave and release of people subject to indefinite supervision orders;
• establishing a new youth forensic facility for treating and supervising young people and a new medium-secure forensic mental health hospital;
• ensuring there is equal treatment of people with an intellectual disability or other cognitive impairment under the supervision regime.

The Report is available here.

New Melbourne Magistrates’ Koori Court

Attorney-General Robert Clark this week joined Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen to launch the Melbourne Magistrates’ Koori Court.

The new court is the eighth adult Magistrates’ Koori Court in Victoria, in which Koori elders and respected persons sit with the Magistrate as part of the sentencing process.

The Melbourne Magistrates’ Koori Court will sit within the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court building on William Street, and will complement the existing County and Children’s Koori Courts that currently sit within Melbourne’s legal precinct.

Forensic Matters

The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine have a new publication, Forensic Matters.

Forensic matters can be downloaded from the VIFM Communications Page.

The contents of the first edition include the following:

  • John Coldrey on the VIFM Council
  • A first look at the Coronial Admissions and Enquiries (CAE)
  • Graeme Schofield VIFM Oration
  • Single Punch Fatalities
  • Forensic Radiology
  • Road Safety
  • Preventing Sexual Violence: What works?

Ombudsman to investigate the provision of rehabilitation services for prisoners

The Victorian Ombudsman Debra Glass has announced an investigation into the provision of rehabilitation programs and transitional services for offenders in Victoria.

The investigation was prompted by the growth in prisoner numbers and concerns with rates of reoffending and the costs to the Victorian community.

The report is due for release in October 2014.

For more information see the attached media release.