Law Reform in Victoria

A monitor of law reform in Victoria

To find and have your say on current Victorian Government Inquiries visit engage.vic.gov.au.

10 May 2022
Sex Work Decriminalisation Act 2022: Decriminalisation of sex work in Victoria will occur in two stages with parts of the act commencing from 10 May 2022 as part of stage one. Stage one relates to:

  • the decriminalisation of street-based sex work in most locations
  • the repeal of offences for working with a sexually transmitted infection and requirements to undergo regular STI testing
  • the repeal of offences for individual sex workers not using safer sex practices
  • the repeal of the small owner-operator sex work service provider register
  • changes to advertising controls applicable to the sex work industry
  • amendments to the Equal Opportunity Act 2010.

6 April 2022
Victims of Crime (Financial Assistance Scheme) Bill 2022: If passed, the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT) will be replaced with an administrative Financial Assistance Scheme. Reforming state-funded financial assistance for victims of crime was recommended in VLRC’s 2018 review of Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996.

Legislative Assembly: Motions – Sexual Offence reporting: Mr Grimley (Western Victoria) calls on the government to commit to implementing a SARO. SARO is a sexual assault reporting option (SARO) providing an alternative reporting mechanism that allows victimsurvivors to report a range of sexual crimes to designated agencies and receive appropriate support. Several ministers rose in support of the motion. VLRC recommended SAROs in its 2021 Sexual Offences inquiry.

5 April 2022
Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2022: Legislates integrated birth certificates for adoptees and improved identity information accessibility under the Adoption Act 1984. These relate to VLRC recommendations in our 2017 review of the Adoption Act 1984. Victorian Government Press Release.

4 April
Victoria Police to trial the Screening Assessment for Stalking and Harassment (SASH) tool at Prahran and Morwell stations – to identify stalking behaviour and assess risk posed to victims. Referred to in VLRCs stalking inquiry (2022 Interim Report). Overview via Mirage News [Victoria Police Media Release link broken]

29 March 2022
Justice Legislation Amendment (Trial by Judge Alone and Other Matters) Act 2022: Legislates prosecution to notify victims of their right to appear at a criminal proceeding and the availability of legal assistance in relation to an application to use their confidential communications. The court must not grant leave to produce protected evidence unless the court is satisfied the confider has had reasable opportunity to obtain legal advice. VLRC recommended this in the 2016 Victims of Crime in the Criminal Trial Process inquiry.

24 March 2022
Parliamentary Inquiry into Victoria’s Criminal Justice System – Report tabled. Report recommends the State Government adopt a more modern and rehabilitation-focused approach to justice in Victoria, particularly in relation to the Bail Act 1977 and Victims Charter Act 2006. The report also recommends raising the age of criminal responsibility from 10 to 14.

16 March 2022
Workplace Safety Legislation and Other Matters Amendment Act 2022: Removes perpetrator notification and attendance at Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal hearings related to family violence or sexual offences. VLRC recommended this in our 2018 review of the Victims of Crime Assistance Act 1996.

10 March 2022
Government responded to the Parliamentary inquiry into responses to historical forced adoptions in Victoria.

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