Legislative Council

PRIVATE MEMBERS BILL: Rights for Victims of Crime

November 15th, 2017

On the 15th of November, Mark supported Hon John Darley MLC's Victims of Crime (Victims Rights) Amendment Bill 2017.

The Hon. M.C. PARNELL: The Greens are supporting this bill. We congratulate the Hon. John Darley on introducing it, and I acknowledge the presence in the gallery of the Commissioner for Victims' Rights. One issue that this bill seeks to address is the problem that victims often find that they are not kept in the loop when it comes to decisions around the prosecution of the person whose actions resulted in them being a victim.

I know from personal family experience that sometimes the police are reluctant to disclose to victims what it is they intend to do in particular circumstances, whether they are going to lay charges or not. I think that it is unacceptable that a victim of crime should have to use the Freedom of Information Act to find out what action the police were proposing to take in relation to the perpetrator of the injury that was bestowed on them.

I think that this bill makes a lot of sense. It strengthens the existing provision in section 9A of the Victims of Crime Act. It creates a right, if you like, or an entitlement on the part of the victim to be informed about various changes that might be made to the charges, whether it be a downgrading of charges or a dropping of charges. Overall, I think that it strengthens the legislation and makes it clear that there should not be any wriggle room. The victim is an integral part of the process. They should be kept informed and their views should be sought before serious decisions are made. That is what this bill does, and the Greens are happy to support it.

printer friendly version

Get email updates