Victoria’s new Attorney-General, Martin Pakula, has no excuses if he does not introduce a range of significant legislation when Parliament sits later this month. Numerous Bills fully prepared under the Coalition prior to the election are ready and available to be introduced on day one of the new Parliament.
Fully drafted Bills released for public comment by the Napthine government ahead of the State election include Bills to:
• remove limitation periods for survivors of criminal child abuses to sue for compensation;
• reform police investigation powers and the use of fingerprint, DNA and other forensic evidence;
• reform the Wrongs Act to address anomalies arising from the post-HIH collapse changes; and
• allow the disclosure of serious youth offending when an offender goes on to commit another serious crime as an adult.
As well, there is legislation that was introduced but not reached in the previous Parliament, including:
• guardianship law reform;
• establishing a Judicial Commission to set standards of judicial conduct and investigate complaints; and
• reform of Funds in Court – the funds held by the Supreme Court on behalf of injured victims and others.
In addition, Mr Pakula needs to bring back into the Parliament legislation for the second stage of jury direction reforms that will reduce delays and make it harder for offenders to get off on technicalities. This legislation was disgracefully defeated without debate by Labor in the previous Parliament as part of their campaign of disruption. Now Labor are in government, they have no excuses for not proceeding with this important reform.