Tabled in Parliament Date:
The forfeiture rule prevents a person who has unlawfully killed another from inheriting from their victim or acquiring another financial benefit from the death. It expresses community’s extreme disapproval of homicide and the fundamental principle that crime should not pay.
On 29 October 2013, the Attorney-General asked the Victorian Law Reform Commission to review the common law rule of forfeiture and propose legislative reform.
In the consultation paper of March 2014, we discussed three approaches to legislative reform and invited submissions. The 17 submissions were supplemented by consultations with legal practitioners, academics, community-based organisations and relevant government agencies.
The report, tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 14 October 2014, concluded that the rule should continue to apply in all cases of murder and most other cases. However, some reform was necessary, because in a small number of cases, those involving significantly reduced moral culpability, the rule does not operate fairly. The Commission’s proposed reforms also reflected changes in other jurisdictions.
The Commission recommended the introduction of a new Forfeiture Act to clarify when the rule applies and how it affects the distribution of the deceased person’s estate. We also suggested the Supreme Court should be able to modify the effect of the rule in individual cases, except murder. To find out if our recommendations have become law, visit the Implementation page.
Download the report from the links below.
- Terms of reference received
- Submissions and consultations
- Submissions closed
- Final Report
- Tabled in parliament