Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996

Victims of crime, especially violent crime, often find themselves physically, mentally and financially vulnerable. Recovery can be a long, difficult process. The purpose of the Victims of Crimes Assistance Act (1996) was to give financial assistance to victims to rebuild their lives and recover. Following specific matters raised during the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Attorney-General, in December 2016, asked the Victorian Law Reform Commission to review the provision of state-funded financial assistance to victims of family violence under the ACT.

Later, in July 2017, the terms of reference were broadened to include reviewing the general effectiveness of the Act and the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) for all victims of crime.

In June 2017, after research into areas covered by the initial terms of reference, the Commission produced a consultation paper that posed 66 questions for consideration and asked for submissions. In August 2017, responding to the broadened terms of reference, a supplimentary consultation paper was released, posing a further 55 questions for consideration and extending the request for submissions.

In its review, the Commission consulted widely with individuals and organisations with experience with the VOCAT process, including victim/survivor individuals, groups and advocacy orgaisations, representatives of the courts and judiciary, private and specialist legal practitioners, community centres and groups, academics, and state-funded financial agencies. From some of these and others, we received 66 submissions.

Tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 19 September 2018, our report contained 100 detailed recommendations and proposed significant changes to the way government provides financial assistance to victims of crime.

The Commission recommended that a new state-funded financial assistance scheme be established, led by an independent and dedicated decision-maker whose powers and functions are prescribed in legislation.

Further, the Commission recommended that the functions of Victoria’s Victims of Crime Commissioner be expanded to include the functions and powers necessary to administer the new scheme.

The Government accepted all of the Commission’s recommendations in principle and committed to progress these reforms in the next term of government.

All published material and submissions are available below.

Timeline

Current: Table in parliament

Full timeline:

Reference
Consultation
Submissions
Final report
Tabled in parliament
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Project Publications

Review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996: Report (pdf and Word)

The Commission's Review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 Report was tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 19 September 2018. Download the...

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Review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996: Report (html)

The Commission's review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 Report was tabled in Parliament on 19 September 2018. Navigate through this html...

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Review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996: Submissions Received

The Commission received the following submissions to its review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996. See the links below to the public...

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Victims of Crime Assistance Act - Supplementary Consultation Paper (pdf and Word)

On 7 July 2017 pursuant to section 5(2)(a) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000, the Attorney-General, the Hon. Martin Pakula MP, provided...

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Victims of Crime Assistance Act: Supplementary Consultation Paper (html)

On 7 July 2017 pursuant to section 5(2)(a) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000, the Attorney-General, the Hon. Martin Pakula MP, provided...

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Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996: Supplementary terms of reference

[Referral to the Commission pursuant to section 5(2)(a) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000 (Vic) on 7 July 2017]. In November 2016, the...

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Family Violence and the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996: First Consultation Paper (pdf and Word)

In December 2016 the Attorney-General asked the Commission to review the provision of state-funded financial assistance to victims of family violence...

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Family Violence and the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996: First Consultation Paper (html)

In December 2016 the Attorney-General asked the Commission to review the provision of state-funded financial assistance to victims of family violence...

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Family Violence and the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996: Terms of Reference

  [Referral to the Commission pursuant to section 5(1)(a) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000 (Vic) on 22 December 2016] Victims of Crime...

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