Glossary

 

 

Aboriginal

In this paper, used as a generic term to refer to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, unless otherwise specified.

Abuse of people with disability

In this paper, physical, sexual, financial and psychological abuse and neglect perpetrated against people with physical and/or intellectual disability.

Act of violence

In this paper, has the meaning as defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic). Refers to a criminal act or a series of related criminal acts, whether committed by one or more persons, that directly results in injury or death to one or more persons.

Administrative

In this paper, describes a system administered, or a decision made, by a government department or agency rather than the judiciary.

Balance of probabilities

The standard of proof in civil proceedings. Often described as ‘more likely than not’ or ‘more probable than not’. This is a lesser standard than beyond reasonable doubt. The balance of probabilities is the standard of proof required under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic).

Beyond reasonable doubt

The standard of proof in criminal proceedings. This is a higher standard than the balance of probabilities.

Causation

In this paper, describes the relationship of cause and effect between an act of violence and a victim’s injury, death or significant adverse effect.

Centres Against Sexual Assault (CASAs)

Specialist support services for victims of sexual assault funded by the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.

Child

A person under the age of 18 years.

Child abuse

In this paper, physical, sexual, financial and psychological abuse and neglect perpetrated against a child.

Common law

Law that derives its authority from decisions of the courts rather than from legislation.

Compensation

Monetary payment intended to compensate in part or in whole for an injury suffered as a result of the commission of a criminal offence. While this term is sometimes used to describe victims’ financial assistance schemes in other jurisdictions, this paper uses the term financial assistance to refer to money that a victim may be eligible to receive under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic).

Criminal act

In this paper, has the meaning as defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic). Refers to an act or omission constituting a relevant offence, or which would constitute a relevant offence if the person had not been incapable of being criminally responsible for it on account of age, mental impairment or other legal incapacity preventing them from having a required fault element, or the existence of any other lawful defence.

Criminal offence

A crime against the state. Most criminal offences in Victoria are specified in the Crimes Act 1958 (Vic). The main categories of criminal offences are indictable offencesindictable offences triable summarily, and summary offences.

Directions hearing

A brief hearing in front of a judicial officer in which orders are made about what should happen next in a case before a court or tribunal, such as how the case should be managed and the time frames to apply.

Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)

 

The official who makes decisions about whether to prosecute serious criminal matters and is independent of government. The Victorian Director of Public Prosecutions is responsible for criminal offences under Victorian law. The Office of Public Prosecutions conducts criminal prosecutions on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Domestic partner

In this paper, has the meaning as defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic). Describes someone to whom a person is not married, but with whom they are in a relationship involving cohabitation and/or personal or financial commitment and support of a domestic nature. Includes people who are in a registered relationship under the Relationships Act 2008 (Vic).

Elder abuse

In this paper, physical, sexual, financial and psychological abuse and neglect perpetrated against older people.

Family member

In this paper, refers to a person’s child, parent, spouse, domestic partner or relative, including grandparents, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.

Family violence

In this paper, has the meaning as defined in the Family Violence Protection Act 2008 (Vic). Refers to behaviour by a person towards a family member that is physically abusive, sexually abusive, emotionally abusive, psychologically abusive, economically abusive, threatening, coercive, or in any other way controls or dominates the family member and causes them to fear for their safety or that of someone else.

Financial assistance

In this paper, refers to money that a victim may be eligible to receive under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic).

Flexible support package (FSP)

Victorian state-funded support package (of up to $7000) administered by community organisations to assist victims of family violence by meeting expenses such as relocation costs or security measures to improve safety at home.

Hearing de novo

A review hearing in which the court or tribunal reviewing the original decision is not bound by that decision and considers the matter ‘afresh’ (that is, as if for the first time). The Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic) uses the term ‘hearing de novo’ to describe a review of a final decision made by a Judicial Registrar, in which the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal considers the application afresh.

Indictable offences

Serious crimes which attract higher maximum penalties. Usually triable before a judge and jury.

Indictable offences triable summarily

Less serious indictable offences which can be heard before a magistrate.

Judicial

Describes a system administered, or a decision made, by a judicial officer.

Judicial officer

A judge or magistrate.

Koori

In this paper, used to describe the traditional inhabitants of Victoria.

Lawyer

Includes barristers (sometimes referred to as counsel) and solicitors.

LGBTIQ

Refers to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans*, intersex and queer persons.

Neglect

In this paper, refers to the failure to provide someone with necessities such as food, shelter, medical care or other requisite forms of assistance.

Offender

Used to describe a person who has been found guilty or who has pleaded guilty to a criminal offence. The term ‘alleged offender’ is used to describe a person who is alleged to have committed a criminal offence, but who may not have been charged with or convicted of that offence.

Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP)

The independent statutory authority that institutes, prepares and conducts criminal prosecutions in the County and Supreme Courts on behalf of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Perpetrator

In this paper, generally used to refer to any person who is alleged to have used violence or other forms of abusive behaviour, including family violenceelder abusechild abuse or abuse of people with disability, whether or not the behaviours have been reported to police, whether or not there has been a criminal prosecution or conviction, and whether or not the behaviours constitute a criminal offence. It includes offenders, alleged offenders and respondents in family violence intervention order matters.

Practice Direction

A procedural guideline issued by a judicial officer to guide the practice of a court or tribunal.

Primary victim

In this paper, has the meaning as defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic). Refers to a person who dies, is injured or suffers a significant adverse effect as a direct result of an act of violence committed against them or as a direct result of them intervening in an act of violence.

Prosecutorial body

In this paper, refers to either Victoria Police, which prosecutes less serious offences (summary offences) or the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions, which prosecutes more serious offences (indictable offences).

Quantum

A specified amount. In this paper, used to describe the amount of financial assistance that a victim can receive under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic).

Quasi-judicial

Describes an administrative body which exercises powers and procedures resembling those of a court or judicial officer, such as conducting hearings.

Related criminal acts

In this paper, has the meaning as defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996. Refers to two or more criminal acts that share a common factor, including criminal acts that are committed against the same person which occur at the same time, and criminal acts that are committed against the same person over a period of time by the same person or group of persons.

Related victim

In this paper, has the meaning as defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic). Refers to a person who is a close family member of, a dependant of, or a person who has an intimate personal relationship with, a person who dies as a direct result of an act of violence.

Registrar

In this paper, a staff member of the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal with specific powers to make decisions as delegated by the Chief Magistrate.

Relevant offence

In this paper, a criminal offence that gives rise to eligibility for financial assistance for the victim under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic). It is limited to offences against the person, including offences involving assault, an injury or a threat of injury to a person, certain sexual offences, and the offences of stalking, child stealing and kidnapping.

Restitution

In this paper, refers to restitution orders made under the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic). Restitution orders require a person convicted of a criminal offence to restore or return something lost or stolen, or its equivalent, to its rightful owner.

Secondary victim

In this paper, has the meaning as defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic). Refers to a person who is injured as a direct result of witnessing an act of violence or as a direct result of finding out about an act of violence that has been committed against their child.

Significant adverse effect

In this paper, has the meaning as defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic). Refers to any grief, distress, trauma or injury experienced or suffered by a primary victim as a direct result of an act of violence.

Special financial assistance

In this paper, a lump sum of financial assistance that may be awarded to a primary victim under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic) as an expression of the state’s sympathy if they suffered any significant adverse effect as a direct result of an act of violence perpetrated against them.

Standard of proof

The degree of certainty required to prove something.

Support and safety hubs

 

Services launched by the Victorian Government in 2017 to provide a range of information, services and support for victims and perpetrators of family violence in the one place.

Trans*

In this paper, an umbrella term to refer to all transgender, transsexual and gender non-conforming persons.

Trauma-informed practice

In this paper, a practice that involves modifying aspects of service provision to ensure a basic understanding of how trauma impacts the life of an individual seeking a service.

Victim

In this paper, refers to a person who has suffered harm as a result of a criminal offence or other form of abuse. Includes victims who may not constitute primary victimssecondary victims and related victims, as defined in the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic). See [1.23]–[1.28] for an explanation of victim-related terminology.

Victim-centred

Describes an approach that prioritises victims’ wishes, safety and wellbeing in all matters and procedures.

Victims Assistance Program (VAP)

A program coordinated by the Victims Support Agency through contracted community-based organisations which provides practical support, information, assistance and therapeutic interventions for victims of violent criminal offences in Victoria.

Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT)

The tribunal established under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic) to provide financial assistance to victims of violent crime committed in Victoria. It is located within the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria.

Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

The tribunal established under the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) that hears civil and administrative legal cases in the State of Victoria. It is empowered to review final decisions of the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal.

Victims Support Agency (VSA)

An agency in the Victorian Department of Justice and Regulation which coordinates services for victims of crime, including the Victims of Crime Helpline, the Victims Assistance Program and the Victims Register.

 

 

 

Date Published: 
Wednesday, September 6, 2017 - 12:00

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