Chapter 16: Promoting compliance with restrictions on publication

125 The courts should, in consultation with the DPP and representatives of the media, improve the current system of email notifications of suppression orders so that there is broader access to such notifications.

126 The courts should ensure, in developing their central database of suppression orders, that the database can facilitate public access to information about existing suppression orders.

127 The database should permit the media, legal practitioners and the wider community to determine whether a suppression order exists in respect of a proceeding. However, the court may limit the extent of information available through the database, as well as provide access through a registration process.

128 To address evidentiary issues in proving knowledge or recklessness in relation to the existence of a suppression order under the Open Courts Act, the database should have the technical capacity to log activity by registered users and any applications to register as a user.

129 To help raise awareness of the existence and reasons for restrictions on publication, further education and training should be developed and provided to members of the media and the general public, and should be appropriately funded by the Victorian Government. Such education and training could be provided by court media teams as well as by victims’ advocacy groups.

130 The Victims of Crime Commissioner should be given dedicated responsibility and adequate resourcing to act on behalf of victims in liaising with the media, DPP and police and in notifying authorities of potential breaches of suppression orders or other restrictions on publication.

131 A ‘DPP consent’ provision should be introduced to the Open Courts Act for prosecutions for breach of suppression orders made under that Act.

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