Police | February 15, 2017

Coalition commit to bringing respect to Victoria’s justice system

The Nationals Member for Lowan, Emma Kealy MP says the Liberal-Nationals Coalition have committed to restoring respect in Victoria’s justice system.

A Liberal-Nationals Government would make it an offence to deliberately disrespect the conventions of Victoria’s courtrooms and give judges the power to apply penalties if the people present in a courtroom refuse to stand for a judge or respect the authority of the court.

“More and more people are coming to me with concerns that our justice system is failing Victorians and needs to be tougher,” Ms Kealy said.

“Recent media reports have shown examples of local homes and businesses being broken into, including reports of a child as young as 14 years of age taking ICE and going on a crime spree.

“Daniel Andrews has no solution to make our state safe again and the Liberal-Nationals will not stand by and become spectators as our state becomes less safe,” she said.

A Liberal-Nationals Government will amend the Supreme Court Act 1986, County Court Act 1958, Magistrates’ Court Act 1989, Children, Youth and Families Act 2005 (Children’s Court) and Coroners Act 2008 to introduce a new offence of disrespect in court that would apply in all Victorian courts, noting that the Children's Court adopts a less formal procedure tailored to the needs of children and young people. The proposal will not initially extend to VCAT.

This new offence will carry a maximum penalty of 14 days imprisonment or 10 penalty units, or both.

“If people don’t have respect for our courts, why would they have respect for our justice system?,” Ms Kealy said.

“Right across the State people have been calling for increased police presence in their towns, but their concerns continue to be ignored by the Andrews Government.

“It’s not good enough when country people don’t feel safe in their own homes,” she said.

It will not apply to lawyers and police prosecutors who are already regulated by professional rules or the Victoria Police Act 2013.


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