Victoria has set up an independent complaints committee to hear concerns about the conduct of the state’s decision-makers, including judges and tribunal members.
The newly established Judicial Commission of Victoria is set to launch in July. The independent body will receive and hear complaints relating to the conduct of state judicial officers and tribunal members.
State Attorney-General Martin Pakula said the commission would keep Victoria’s justice system to account.
“This is about ensuring Victorians have a more accessible, independent and transparent justice system,” the Attorney-General said.
People can raise complaints about individual decision-makers to the commission, as well as concerns about health issues that may impact a judge or a member’s ability to perform their role.
Complaints can be lodged to the commission for a range of reasons, including excessive delays in giving judgments and courtroom demeanour.
Earlier this year, the Victoria government named four board members for the new commission.
Board appointees Graham Atkinson, Ross Herron, Claire Keating and Helen Silver will join others who head the state’s Victorian court and Victorian and Civil Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).
“I’m pleased to announce the appointments of these four distinguished Victorians, and I look forward to their contributions to this important new institution,” the Attorney-General said.
Mr Atkinson is both the principal and director of his own consulting group. He has nearly 30 years’ experience consulting with government and Indigenous communities on matters including land justice and heritage, economic and social planning, good governance and change management.
A senior partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Mr Herron is a chartered accountant and serves on four different boards. Mr Herron is also the chair of the board for GUD Holdings Ltd.
Ms Keating is the director of a number of companies, including NAB Wealth Subsidiaries and Yooralla, Victoria’s largest non-government provider of disability services.
Ms Silver has had a long professional history working for the public sector, including as Secretary of the Department of Premier and Cabinet from 2008 to June 2013. She currently holds a position at Allianz Australia as chief general manager.
The commission has the power to convene an investigating panel for the most serious complaints.