In the media

The banker school scam

The state's public sector corruption watchdog IBAC has exposed serious misconduct by senior officials in the education department dating back decades. Public hearings and recommendations are likely to include referrals for criminal charges to be laid against some of the state's most senior former public servants (03 May 2015)

Read the full article here.

Labor Cracks Down On Puppy Farms

The Andrews Labor Government will support the RSPCA with an additional $5 million over the next four years to clamp down on and prosecute illegal puppy farmers (03 May 2015)

Read the full article here.

See also Puppy Farm Changes Fast-Tracked. The Primary Industries Legislation Amendment Act 2014 (the Act) provides additional protection for animals by: placing greater onus on domestic animal businesses to register breeding dogs

Dysfunctional culture at Children's Commission

Victoria's children's commission was dysfunctional and immature and required major restructure to cope with the increase in its workload following a parliamentary inquiry into child abuse, a public sector review found (02 May 2015)

Read the full article here.

Lack of PSO oversight leads to excessive force, privacy intrusions: report

A report has found armed Protective Service Officers continue to be a risk of using excessive physical force because of a lack of independent oversight and poor training. Senior policy adviser (Federation of Commuter Legal Centres), said there was a danger that a lack of public reporting and independent monitoring could lead to "over-policing" by PSOs (01 May 2015)

Read the full article here.

Submissions Open For Review Of Victoria’s Charter Of Human Rights

Victorians can help shape the future of the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities with submissions now open for the Charter’s review. Attorney-General, Martin Pakula encouraged the community to have their say and make submissions to the review (30 April 2015)

Read the full article here.

LIV calls for legislation to clear convictions from criminal records

In a submission to the Attorney General, Martin Pakula, the Law Institute of Victoria argues that disclosing criminal convictions for minor offences many years after the event can have a dramatic and disproportionate effect on lives, including preventing people from obtaining jobs and insurance (22 April 2015)

Read the full article here.

Parliamentary committees up and running

Nine joint investigatory committees have been established for Victoria's 58th Parliament. The committees include members of the Legislative Council and Legislative Assembly (22 April 2015)

Read the full article here.

Ombudsman finds a ‘litany of failings’ in oversight of aged care home

The Victorian Ombudsman has tabled a report in Parliament highly critical of government oversight of an aged care facility home to 39 elderly residents.  Despite showing no proper financial records over its entire 25 year history of operation, numerous complaints about both the care and financial management, two prosecutions by the department, the Mentone Gardens had its registration renewed eleven times (15 April 2015)

Read the full article here.

See the report here.

LIV Audit of Charter cases now available

A database of 336 Victorian decisions involving the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities 2006 has been launched by the Law Institute of Victoria. The Charter Case Audit contains information on court and tribunal decisions involving the Charter decided between 2006 and December 2014 (08 April 2015)

Read the full article here.

Issues Paper To Assist Royal Commission Submissions

Minister for the Prevention of Family Violence, Fiona Richardson, has welcomed the release of an issues paper from the Royal Commission into Family Violence, which will assist individuals and organisations to lodge written submissions (02 April 2015)

Read the full article here.

Regulation

New Assent - Limitation of Actions Amendment (Child Abuse) Act (Vic)

The Limitation of Actions Amendment (Child Abuse) Act 2015 No. 9 (Vic) was assented to on 21 April 2015. The purpose of the amending Act is to remove limitation periods that apply to actions in respect of causes of action that relate to death or personal injury resulting from child abuse, to implement recommendation 26.3 of the Family and Community Development Committee's November 2013 report Betrayal of Trust: Inquiry into the Handling of Child Abuse by Religious and other Non-Government Organisations.

More information can be found here.

VIC Government Gazette S90 - Professional Standards Act 2003 – Victoria – 23/04/2015

Authorisation and Publication Pursuant To Section 14 - The New South Wales Bar Association Scheme

Victoria County Court: New eLodgement System to Commence April 2015

The County Court has issued a reminder that from 13 April 2015 legal practitioners will be required to electronically lodge a number of forms and documents for criminal matters online upon the commencement of the new eLodgement system.

Read the media release here.

Published - articles, papers, reports

State of the Public Sector in Victoria 2013-2014

The State of the Public Sector in Victoria is an annual publication. It reports on the employees of the Victorian public sector and their actions to support the Victorian Government and serve the people of the state of Victoria (15 April 2015)

Read the report here.

Victorian law reform: Cannabis use in exceptional circumstances

Law Institute Journal, April 2015

The Victorian government made a commitment before the 2014 state election to allow cannabis to be used for medicinal purposes in exceptional circumstances, and to ask the Victorian Law Reform Commission (VLRC) to report on the options for regulatory reform. It aims to present a bill to Parliament by the end of 2015.

Read the report here.

VAGO: Digital Dashboard: Status Review of ICT Projects and Initiatives (2014–15:25)

The audit examined whether Victorian public sector agencies and entities are appropriately planning, managing and implementing selected ICT projects in terms of time, cost, benefits realisation, governance (15 April 2015) 

Read the report here.

VAGO: Palliative Care (2014–15:26)

The objective of the audit was to determine whether Victorians with a terminal illness have access to high-quality palliative care that is timely, coordinated, and responsive to their needs and wishes (15 April 2015)

Read the report here.

Cases

Burbank Australia Pty Ltd v Owners Corporation [2015] VSC 160

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW – Appeal on question of law – Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal – Whether Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 applies to multi-apartment developments – Whether legal proceedings commenced without being authorised by special resolution - Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 s 148 – Owners Corporation Act 2006 ss 18, 97 – Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 ss 1, 3, 5, 6, 8, 9 – Building Act 1993 ss 3 and 136

Read about the case here.

Qantas Airways Limited v Lustig [2015] FCA 253

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW - Where claims instituted in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) under the Fair Trading Act 1999 (Vic) - Where challenge to jurisdiction of VCAT – Whether VCAT exercises judicial power in original jurisdiction – Whether VCAT is a “court of a State” within s 77(iii) of the Constitution – Where federal judicial power cannot be vested in VCAT – Whether provisions of State law conferring jurisdiction on VCAT should be read down – Whether the matter falls within federal jurisdiction - Where defence relies upon Part IV, Civil Aviation (Carriers’ Liability) Act 1959 (Cth) –Whether VCAT erred in considering the validity of the defence in determining whether it has jurisdiction - Whether defence is colourable

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Whether matter should be remitted to VCAT - Whether VCAT has power to refer the matter to the Victorian Supreme Court under s 77(1) of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) where it has no jurisdiction over the matter

Read about the case here.

Censori v Chairman, Adult Parole Board & Ors [2015] VSC 106

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — Habeas corpus —Plaintiff sentenced to death by Supreme Court of Western Australia — Commuted to life imprisonment — Transferred to Victoria under Prisoners (Interstate Transfer) Act 1985 — Released on parole by exercise of Victorian Governor of royal prerogative of mercy under s 107(1) of Sentencing Act 1991 — Whether plaintiff subject to life sentence on transfer to Victoria — Whether parole order affected life sentence — Whether plaintiff still subject to life sentence — Whether conditions of parole order effective — Whether Parole Board has power to impose further conditions on plaintiff — Prisoners (Interstate Transfer) Act 1983 ss 4, 27, 28 – Corrections Act 1986 s 74 — Sentencing Act 1991 s 107.

Read about the case here.

DPP v Kerr & Anor (Ruling No 2) [2015] VSC 65

ADMINISTRATIVE LAW — Habeas corpus —Plaintiff sentenced to death by Supreme Court of Western Australia — Commuted to life imprisonment — Transferred to Victoria under Prisoners (Interstate Transfer) Act 1985 — Released on parole by exercise of Victorian Governor of royal prerogative of mercy under s 107(1) of Sentencing Act 1991 — Whether plaintiff subject to life sentence on transfer to Victoria — Whether parole order affected life sentence — Whether plaintiff still subject to life sentence — Whether conditions of parole order effective — Whether Parole Board has power to impose further conditions on plaintiff — Prisoners (Interstate Transfer) Act 1983 ss 4, 27, 28 – Corrections Act 1986 s 74 — Sentencing Act 1991 s 107.

Read about the case here.

Metricon Homes Pty Ltd v Hooper [2015] VSC 110

JUDICIAL REVIEW – Section 148(1) Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 1998 (Vic) (VCAT Act) – Questions of law – Factual findings and inferences not open to Tribunal – Factual findings unreasonable – Wednesbury unreasonableness – Tribunal’s obligations to act fairly (s 97 VCAT Act), to afford natural justice (s 98(1) VCAT Act), to provide a reasonable opportunity to call or give evidence (s 102(1)(a) and (b) VCAT Act) – Incorrect application of the Building Code of Australia 2006 (BCA) – Scheme of the BCA – Options to satisfy BCA Performance Requirements – Provisions of AS 2870 – Tribunal’s errors in determining damages – Notice of contention – Tribunal’s errors in construing the building contract.

Read about the case here.

Legislation

Victoria

Bill Progress

Justice Legislation Amendment Bill 2015

Repeals Magistrates' Court Amendment (Assessment and Referral Court List) Act 2010

A Bill for an Omnibus Act, containing a number of small amendments to various items of legislation, including the removal of the sunset provisions for the assessment and referral court list and other matters; 15/04/2015 Assembly: Second reading moved; 14/04/2015 Assembly: Introduced (Mr Pakula - Attorney-General)

Sentencing Amendment (Correction of Sentencing Error) Bill 2015

Legislative Assembly 15/4/2015 Moved second reading, debate adjourned

Jury Directions Bill

Legislative Assembly 14/4/2015 Second reading debate continued and adjourned

Limitation of Actions Amendment (Child Abuse) Bill 2015

Legislative Council 14/4/2015 Read a third time, passed all stages and awaiting assent

Tobacco Amendment (Smoking in Outdoor Areas) Bill 2015

Introduced and Second Read in the first House  week ending 17/04/2015

Proclamations

No. 65: Tobacco Amendment Act 2014

Commencement: Ss 1-15 on 13/04/2015: SG (No. 66) 31/3/2015 p. 1

Not yet in operation: Ss 1-15: on 13/04/2015: SG (No. 66) 31/3/2015 p. 1

An Act to amend the Tobacco Act 1987 to prohibit smoking in specified outdoor areas and in the vicinity of pedestrian access points to certain places, to increase the penalty for possessing certain tobacco products and to amend inspectors' powers and for other purposes.

VIC Government Gazette S88 - Acts of Parliament

The following Victorian bills received assent 21 April 2015:

7/2015 Education and Training Reform Amendment (Child Safe Schools) Act 2015

8/2015 Legal Profession Uniform Law Application Amendment Act 2015

9/2015 Limitation of Actions Amendment (Child Abuse) Act 2015

10/2015 Parliamentary Committees and Inquiries Acts Amendment Act 2015

12/2015 Veterans and Other Acts Amendment Act 2015

Statutory Rules

No. 22: Inquiries Regulations 2015

Commencement: 31/03/2015 Not yet in operation: N/A Sunset Date: 31/03/2025

These Regulations prescribe the scale of expenses and allowances for the purposes of reimbursing witnesses attending an inquiry of a Royal Commission or Board of Inquiry under the Inquiries Act 2014 and prescribe forms

No. 24: Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Fees) Amendment Regulations 2015

Date of Making: 14/04/2015 Commencement: 14/04/2015 Not yet in operation: N/A

Sunset Date: 14/04/2025

No. 26: Tobacco Amendment Regulations 2015

Date of Making: 14/04/2015 Commencement: 14/04/2015 Not yet in operation: N/A

Sunset Date: 14/04/2025

Victorian legislation can be viewed online at: www.legislation.vic.gov.au