Review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996: Supplementary Consultation Paper (html)


On 22 December 2016, the Victorian Attorney General, the Hon. Martin Pakula MP asked the Victorian Law Reform Commission (the Commission) to review and report on the provision of state-funded financial assistance to victims of family violence under the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996 (Vic) (the Act) (the first terms of reference).

In June 2017 the Commission released a consultation paper seeking stakeholder views on the issues raised by the first terms of reference (the first consultation paper).

On 7 July 2017, the Attorney-General, by supplementary terms of reference, asked the Commission to expand its review to consider the operation and effectiveness of the Act and the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) for all victims of crime. The supplementary terms of reference ask the Commission to consider whether there are other models that would more effectively deliver assistance to victims of crime, for example an administrative or quasi-administrative model. The terms of reference also ask the Commission to bear in mind that a state-funded assistance scheme for victims should seek to achieve outcomes for victims that:

• are fair, equitable and timely

• are consistent and predictable

• minimise trauma for victims and maximise the therapeutic effect for victims

and that the scheme must also be efficient and sustainable for the state.

It is apparent that the supplementary terms of reference comprehend a significantly expanded set of issues from the original terms of reference. Accordingly it is appropriate that the Commission publish a supplementary consultation paper to consider these further issues, and to extend the submission period to comprehend both sets of terms of reference.

I warmly encourage anyone with an interest in any or all of the issues raised by the consultation papers to make a written submission to the Commission.

Submissions on both consultation papers are due by 31 October 2017.

Your submissions will inform the recommendations the Commission makes to the Attorney-General.

The Commission will report to the Attorney-General on both sets of terms of reference in the one report by 27 July 2018.

The Hon. P. D. Cummins AM


Victorian Law Reform Commission

August 2017

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