find the latest legal job
Senior Associate - Litigation & Dispute Resolution
Category: Litigation and Dispute Resolution | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Come work for a firm ranked in Lawyers Weekly Top 25 Attraction Firms
View details
Associate - Workplace Relations & Safety
Category: Industrial Relations and Employment Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Employer of choice · Strong team culture
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Poll void unless public informed: LIV

Poll void unless public informed: LIV

Sentencing in the Victorian Supreme Court should be broadcast so the public can have "all the facts" when it comes to formulating views about appropriate sentences, according to the Law…

Sentencing in the Victorian Supreme Court should be broadcast so the public can have "all the facts" when it comes to formulating views about appropriate sentences, according to the Law Institute of Victoria (LIV).

LIV president Caroline Counsel made the comments in the wake of today's (27 July) launch of an online opinion poll which the Victorian Government hopes will allow the public to participate in the debate about sentencing reform.

"We believe that the public gets it right when they have all the facts," said Counsel. "Online surveys are not the way for governments to develop sentencing policy."

Victorian Attorney-General Robert Clark said the survey, which will run for four weeks, will allow all Victorians to give their views on sentencing reform.

"We're asking Victorians to consider a range of criminal case studies and hand down the sentences they think are appropriate in each case," Clark said.

"This will help inform the Government about community views on sentencing and help shape decisions about future sentencing levels and other sentencing reforms in Victoria."

The survey includes almost 20 case studies featuring aspects of real crimes heard in Victorian courts.

Counsel said the survey was "too blunt" to provide all the nuances of individual factors taken into account by judges and magistrates when imposing sentences.

"It is important that the community gets as much information about sentencing as possible, but this cannot be done through an online survey," Counsel said.

She also said studies consistently showed that when the public is given the same information as judges, they tend to give similar or lower sentences than judges. Most recently, she said, the Tasmanian Jury Sentencing Study confirmed that jurors with firsthand experience consider that sentences are appropriate, and that judges are in touch with public opinion.

"The Government's online survey does not take into account important factors such as whether the accused is suffering from a mental impairment, as well as all the individual circumstances of a case," Counsel said.

She said the LIV believed that a wide range of sentencing options, including suspended sentences and home detention for less serious offences, should be retained. The LIV is also against any form of mandatory sentencing.

"We believe that and judges and magistrates, who have taken all the individual factors into account, must have discretion in determining the appropriate sentence," she said.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Poll void unless public informed: LIV
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Oct 20 2017
Podcast: One of law’s most infamous alumni – in conversation with Julian Morrow
In this episode of The Lawyers Weekly Show, Melissa Coade is joined by The Chaser’s Julian Morrow....
Oct 20 2017
High Court overturns ‘excessive’ anti-protest legislation
Bob Brown’s recent victory in the High Court over the Tasmanian government was a win for fundament...
Oct 20 2017
Changes to Australian citizenship laws blocked
Attempts to beef up the requirements to obtain Australian citizenship were thwarted this week, after...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...