23rd January 2019

The groundbreaking initiatives announced by the Andrews Government today, in relation to Victims, must be applauded and the government righty congratulated. Although the devil may be in the implementation it is truly a watershed moments for Victims and well overdue.
This announcement is strongly supported by the CAA. We acknowledge that these are recommendations yet to be adopted but they were made at the Government’s behest so we are confident they will be adopted.

The CAA published its position on the abhorrent treatment of Victim’s of crime in this State and presented a number of recommendations that could improve the treatment of Victims.
The paper, ‘A case for Victims’, first published in April 2018 can be found at
https://caainc.org.au/a-case-for-the-victims/ and addresses a number of the initiatives announced by Government.

It would be perhaps advantageous that the Government revisit this paper in light of the recommendations before it.

The government setting up another quango as the recovery of debt function is the only thing we pass comment on, not criticism.

The Tax Office and the Sheriff’s Office have the existing mechanism to play the long game in debt recovery and a new body may not be necessary.

Not covered in our original article the legislation required to establish much of the Victim support function must include a provision whereby bankruptcy cannot extinguish the debt. That a debt follows a convicted criminal until paid even after they have served any penalty. The debt will be a reminder of the folly of crime and act as a major deterrent.
The arguments that will be proffered will be focused on the welfare of the perpetrator’s ability to reform but that is cold comfort to many victims that never have their life returned.

The last thing we, and any victim, would want to see is a criminal subsequent to an Order accumulating wealth by either legal means or otherwise and avoiding the compensation. That is why we favour to Tax Office as the recovery agency.

Given the history of our Judiciary, it would be highly desirable that there are legislative changes that realign the role of the Victim in the legal process so that compassion and most importantly respect is afforded to all victims.