Criminal Liability of the Crown: Terms of Reference

Under s 5(1)(a) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000, the Attorney-General requests the Victorian Law Reform Commission to examine, report and make recommendations to the Attorney-General on the following matters relating to the criminal liability of the public sector.

1. How to impose criminal liability on public sector entities, excluding bodies corporate that represent the Crown if the body corporate is established by or under an Act or is deemed or declared to be a body corporate by or under an Act, for proposed statutory offences of corporate manslaughter and negligently causing serious injury by a body corporate, with particular reference to the following questions:

(a) the imposition of criminal liability on the following entities

(i) 'Agencies' as defined in section 4 of the Public Sector Management and Employment Act 1998;

(ii) 'Offices' as referred to in section 16(1) of the Public Sector Management and Employment Act 1998;

(iii) 'Public authorities' as defined in section 5 of the Public Sector Management and Employment Act 1998.

(b) the issues which arise where it is sought to impose criminal liability on such entities, including:

(i) the way in which, and the basis upon which, such criminal liability should be attributed to the entity;

(ii) the way in which sentences can be imposed on the entity;

(iii ) how personal criminal liability could be imposed on senior officers/employees of the entity, in circumstances where a negligent act or omission attributed to the entity causes death or serious injury to an employee or worker of the entity;

2.  Any issues which have not been considered under 1, which in the view of the commission require consideration as the result of imposition of criminal liability on public sector bodies.

The commission is required to report on item 1 no later than 1 March 2002.

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