CCO mental health assessment pilot

Community Corrections at Melbourne and Sunshine Magistrates’ Courts will commence a mental health assessment pilot in December 2015. It will run for 12 months. The pilot involves Forensicare clinical staff  being on site to screen the mental health needs of offenders and to advise Corrections during a CCO assessment process. The aim is to ensure resources are targeted effectively to those offenders on CCOs who have demonstrated needs.

Members should be aware of this new service. The pilot will be evaluated later in the 12 month period. Please send any comments to the CBA Committee who will take them up with Corrections when the evaluation commences.

Farewell Mr Muling!

On 22 December 2015, Magistrate Dan Muling will retire. For 20+ years he has been at the forefront of the Court’s criminal jurisdiction, particularly as Deputy Chief. He has enjoyed the respect of all who appear before him and inspired confidence in the Court’s ability to deal justly with the most difficult of cases. All we can say, about his departure, is (to quote his Honour), ‘Not Happy Jan!’

Suicide Prevention Training

The Health & Wellbeing Committee is offering Suicide Prevention Training to barristers on the 28 November 2015 at 9.00am to 1.00pm. 

This training is free. We believe it is essential training for members of the Bar. The training will help barristers to be alert to the signs of risk and equipping them with the skills to respond in a protective way. RSVP’s should be addressed to by the 20th November 2015.

AGM A reminder that the Annual General Meeting of the Criminal Bar Association of Victoria Inc. will be held at 5.15pm on Wednesday 25 November 2015 at the Neil Forsyth Room, Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East.

The Annual General Meeting will consider business arising out of the following Agenda items:

1.           Confirmation of minutes of AGM held on 19 November 2014 (see AGM Notice attachment).
2.           Receive a report on the activities of the CBA for the year ending 30 June 2015 (see Annual Report attachment).
3.           Receive and consider the statement of assets and liabilities and expenditure and income of the CBA for the financial year 2014/15 (per s.94(1) Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012) (see Financial Statement attachment).
4.           Election of officers of the Association and the ordinary members of the Committee.

Positions to be determined by election at the Annual General Meeting are: Chairman; Vice Chairman; Treasurer, Secretary and four (4) ordinary Committee members

opcje binarne sygnały As is the usual custom, drinks will follow at the Essoign Club. 

Videoconferencing project expands

Some members have participated in a pilot of the videoconferencing system with prisons. Please see the evaluation material in a members email to be circulated in the next few days.

The Pilot is being expanded to permit all members of counsel to participate. Please contact Michelle Mykytowycz to get information about how to join the program.

Baseline sentencing ‘unworkable’: C of A

In DPP v Walters (a pseudonym) [2015] VSCA 303, the Court of Appeal held the baseline sentencing provisions to be unworkable. The appeal was brought by the DPP against a sentence said to be manifestly inadequate due to a failure to apply the baseline provisions. Whilst acknowledging the purpose of the legislation to effect a certain statistical outcome in sentences over time, the Court held that, in the individual sentencing task, “Parliament’s stated intention cannot be given effect to because the provisions contain no mechanism for its implementation and it is beyond the function of the Court to devise one.”

Members should note that the Court only had before it a Crown appeal against sentence. Stay tuned for what practical effect this decision may have in other cases.

Farewell Julie Sutherland!

The CBA offers a heartfelt farewell to Julie Sutherland!

Julie signed the bar roll on 23 May 1985 and finished her last trial last week with an acquittal. That’s 30 years, 5 months and 11 days of tireless work and fearless advocacy. We have all benefited from her leadership both in court and out. Sam Tovey undoubtedly spoke for us all at the end of that trial:

HER HONOUR:  Yes, now Mr … can leave the dock, and I’ll excuse everyone involved in this case, but I do need to ‑ ‑ ‑

MR TOVEY:  Your Honour, before that happens, if I could raise one matter?

HER HONOUR:  Yes, yes?

MR TOVEY:  Somewhat unusually, Your Honour, I’d just like to put one matter on the record prior to the court rising.  I’ve been privileged in this matter to be led by Miss Sutherland of counsel.


MR TOVEY:  Miss Sutherland has let us at our Bar know that this will be her final trial as counsel.  Having spoken to some from our Bar and specifically from the Criminal Bar Association, I’d simply like to on the record extend our great congratulations to her on a spectacular career that’s spanned more than 30 years.

It’s had an impact on many at the Bar and I’ve certainly been privileged to have that impact in recent days.  We simply wish to let her know that she’ll be sorely missed and that she’s welcome back anytime.  But more than anything else, we’d like to thank her for being such a great example of what it means to take the privilege role of counsel for such a long time.

HER HONOUR:  Yes, well thank you, Mr Tovey.  Can I endorse those remarks.  It’s been a privilege to have Miss Sutherland appear before me in this trial.  It is a terrible tragedy that she appears to have decided not to continue on and maybe she’ll change her mind having heard our expressions of opinion, but Miss Sutherland is a very well-known and very widely respected barrister at the Bar and amongst the judiciary and I endorse what has been said on her behalf.  Thank you very much, Miss Sutherland and Mr Tovey for all your assistance in this trial and of course, thank you Mr Moore.


New videoconferencing system – demonstration

The CBA brings to members’ attention this very important information session. The Court has extended the invitation to the Bar and LIV. Due to the size of the court room numbers are limited to 70 so get your response in quickly.


A demonstration of the features of video conferencing will be held on Friday 27 November in Court 1 of the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court commencing at 10.30am. The time allocated is 30-45 minutes. Numbers will be limited. Follow this link to get link register and reserve a place. We look forward to seeing you there

The Video Conferencing Pilot Project (VCPP) is a trial of modern Video Conferencing technology and processes. It will initially link between courts and prisons and be flexible enough to include external agencies at a later date. The VCPP consists of two phases:

  1. the first phase commenced on the 20 April 2015 and involves increased video conferencing between selected Magistrates’ Courts and Prisons. This has increased the capacity of the system and improve its capability
  2. the second phase commenced on 19 October 2015, for selected legal practitioners, and will allow legal practitioners to conduct video conferences with clients in custody using a desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.

Expanding the use of video conferencing will reduce the need for practitioners to travel to prison and for accused to be moved unnecessarily. Legal Practitioners who are participating in the second phase trial will be in attendance to answer any queries. A demonstration of the video conferencing technology will be provided which will include:

  • how do you book a client video conference?
  • how does a legal practitioner contact their client in a Correctional facility on the day of the hearing by using the video conferencing technology?
  • what happens if a matter is stood down and the case is to be re-linked later in the day?

VCPP External Working Group

County Court – amended criminal Practice Note

The County Court Criminal Division Practice Note PNCR 1-2015 (21.10.15) has been updated. Please note changes to the following sections, in particular:

follow link Family Violence Checklist 
The new Family Violence Checklist was developed as a result of a recommendation made by the County Court in its submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence. The checklist is designed to identify matters which involve family violence, to facilitate improved case management and ensure that alternative arrangements are canvassed early on in the proceedings. The Criminal Division has developed this new checklist which will be filed in all matters committed to the County Court in collaboration with the Office of Public Prosecutions, Criminal Bar Association, Law Institute of Victoria and Victoria Legal Aid. See Sections 4.3(d), 6.3(d), 7.5(e)(3), Attachment 4. 
opzioni binarie truffa servizio le iene Plea Hearing Requirements 
As a result of feedback from the profession, the Criminal Division has updated the Plea Hearing section to make it clear that the requirements in this section apply where an accused is committed for trial after entering a plea of guilty in the Magistrates’ Court  and where a jury have returned a verdict of guilty following a trial. Furthermore the Defence filing requirement section has been updated to provide further guidance around the content of a Defence Outline of Submissions. See Sections 7.1-7.2, 7.5(c), 7.13, 7.14-7.15. 

2015 dinner – full, but …

We now have more names than seats. But we expect some members will not be able to attend at the last minute due to court commitments.

So, please email Simon Moglia if you have a seat but can’t attend – so that someone on the waiting list can take your place.

Statistical evaluation of evidence in criminal casework

Tuesday, 27 Oct 2015 at 5:45–7:15PM

JH Mitchell Theatre in the Richard Berry Building, University of Melbourne

Probability and statistics have much to offer the legal system but, with the exception of DNA profile evidence, this potential is barely exploited. Even for DNA profiles, the computation and interpretation of probabilities used to convey weight-of-evidence have been controversial, and mistakes are common.

go here Professor Balding will reflect on over 20 years working with DNA profile evidence in the UK criminal justice system, and the big advances made by forensic scientists in their appreciation and use of statistical ideas and methods. Paradoxically, as standards have improved, courts in England and Wales have become more resistant to any numerically-based reasoning beyond reporting a DNA profile match probability. Professor Balding will review statistical approaches to the evaluation of DNA profile evidence, illustrating the many statistical subtleties and complexities, as well as briefly survey comparable issues for other evidence types. He hopes to show why judges have good reason to be wary about statistics in their courts, but also why a blanket exclusion of statistical reasoning would be detrimental to justice, both in cementing past and present bad practice and in missing out on opportunities for major improvements.

Sentencing Manual extensively updated

Judicial College –  Sentencing Manual extensively updated to reflect recent Court of Appeal cases

Topics updated include:

  •  Victim impact statements
  •  Offences involving family violence
  •  Revelation of offences not known to police – Doran discount
  •  Child pornography offences
  •  Drug trafficking and actual or potential harm

Find out more here.

Prisoners at MRC

Corrections Victoria have advised that:

  • Professional visits were restored at the MRC on 7 July – a week after the riot – so there should be little/no impediment getting visits access to prisoners.
  • Phone contact whilst initially problematic should no longer be an issue.
  • In the event practitioners are having difficulty in contacting their clients, or if the wish to clarify information about whether an accused has been confined to their cell as a result of the riots, the contact is: Quality & Compliance Manager, MRC – Phone 9217 7606

County Court eLodgment deadline

The County Court eLodgement system, which allows legal practitioners to electronically lodge a number of forms and documents for criminal matters online, was launched on 13 April 2015.

To assist practitioners with the transition between manual and electronic document lodgement, the Court permitted some eLodgement documents and forms to be manually lodged at the respective Court Registries in exceptional circumstances.

This practice will no longer be permitted as of Monday 12 October 2015. Any eLodgement appropriate documents or forms which are attempted to be filed in person or via the respective Court’s Registry email after this date, will not be accepted for processing unless otherwise stated in a Practice Note.

In Melbourne, eLodgement applies to any case initiated in the County Court from 1 January 2015 (represented by a CR-15+ case number). In the regions, eLodgement applies to all pending cases on the County Court Circuit List.

Further information about eLodgement and how legal practitioners may register and use the system are contained in the eLodgement section of the County Court website at:

CCO consent forms – disclosure to 3rd parties

Members should note that CCO forms have been amended. Now, when a client signs the “Consent to the making of an Order” form they will be providing consent to Corrections passing on any material to 3rd parties subsequently involved in their treatment or assessment.

If a client does not wish any of the material in court to be passed on to other bodies, then members should ensure that the court does not provide that material to Corrections at the assessment stage. If Corrections don’t get it, they can’t pass it on. Of course, in many cases, it may be in the client’s interest to have the material passed on.

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.