Sentencing Guidelines Council for Victoria: Issues Paper

Jesuit Social Services welcomes the opportunity to put forward our views on the Sentencing Advisory Council’s issues paper on the creation of a sentencing guidelines council in Victoria.

As a starting point, we affirm the long standing principles of our judicial system, including:

  • The independence of the judiciary
  • The presumption of innocence
  • The protection of the public, including victims of crime
  • The speedy resolution of issues regarding a person’s detention
  • Prison as a last resort.

As well as highlighting the need to maintain these key principles, we recommend that:

  • The new Sentencing Guidelines Council should include a representative from the Koori Court, preferably as co-Chair, as well as a legal representative with strong sector background and experience relating to vulnerable groups (e.g. children and young people, people with an acquired brain injury [ABI] or cognitive impairment, and those with alcohol, drug and/or mental health issues).
  • Council engage with a wide range of groups to ensure the views of those working alongside or on behalf of vulnerable groups is incorporated as central to the Council’s process.
  • A requirement to publish an impact or resource assessment alongside any draft or final guideline is critical (using Racial Equity Tools as an example)
  • People with an ABI form a particularly vulnerable group – and implementing recommendations from the Enabling Justice Projectwill help improve access to justice for people with an ABI in Australia.

Get your copy

Download our issue paper here

2023 Annual Dinner

Please join us for our Annual Dinner on 25 March 2023.