Tania Maxwell MP has secured the support of Parliament to undertake a top-level review of Victoria’s justice system, following the unopposed passing of her motion in the Legislative Council today.
As a result of Ms Maxwell’s success, the Legal and Social Issues Committee will undertake the broadest inquiry into the system for nearly 30 years – and examine Victoria’s growing remand and prison populations, strategies to reduce recidivism and judicial appointment processes.
Ms Maxwell said the inquiry will provide an opportunity for Victorians to have their say and hoped the process will prompt meaningful reforms and rebuild public confidence in the justice system. The inquiry is due to be completed before 28 February 2022.
That this House requires the Legal and Social Issues Committee to inquire into, consider and report, by no later than 28 February 2022, on various issues associated with the operation of Victoria’s justice system, including, but not limited to —
- an analysis of factors influencing Victoria’s growing remand and prison populations;
- strategies to reduce rates of criminal recidivism;
- an examination of how to ensure that judges and magistrates have appropriate knowledge and expertise when sentencing and dealing with offenders, including an understanding of recidivism and the causes of crime; and
- the consideration of judicial appointment processes in other jurisdictions, specifically noting the particular skill-set necessary for judges and magistrates overseeing specialist courts.
Quotes attributable to Tania Maxwell
”This inquiry will provide an opportunity for a long awaited, comprehensive review of our justice system and the drivers which lead to offending, recidivism and alternative outcomes.”
“As far as I am aware, there has not been such a broad-ranging parliamentary review of the justice system in Victoria since at least the start of the expanded committee system in 1992.”