Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996
Tabled in Parliament Date:
Victims of crime often need assistance. They can be 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 of crime to rebuild their lives and recover. Following the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Attorney-General asked the Victorian Law Reform Commission to review state-funded financial assistance to victims of family violence.
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 the Commission produced a consultation paper focussing on family violence that posed 66 questions for consideration and asked for submissions.
In August 2017, when the terms of reference were broadened, a supplementary consultation paper was released, now referring to all victims of crime. It included 55 more questions for consideration.
The Commission consulted widely with individuals and organisations with experience with the VOCAT process, including victim/survivor individuals, groups and advocacy organisations, representatives of the courts and judiciary, private and specialist legal practitioners, community centres and groups, academics, and state-funded financial agencies. We received 66 submissions.
Tabled in the Victorian Parliament on 19 September 2018, our report contained 100 detailed recommendations and proposed important changes to the way the government assists victims of crime.
The Commission recommended a new state-funded financial assistance scheme, 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.
To find out which of our recommendations have become law, visit the Implementation page.
All published material and submissions are available below.
- Terms of reference received
- Submissions and consultations
- Submissions closed
- Final Report
- Tabled in parliament