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Victorian Criminal Procedure 2019
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Victorian Criminal Procedure 2019

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ISBN 9781760021870 FORTHCOMING RELEASE 29/2/19

This work continues to offer a comprehensive overview of the law governing the procedures for prosecuting offenders against commonwealth and state law in Victoria in what has become an increasingly detailed and complex component of criminal justice.

Its aim is to be a practical aid for police, legal practitioners, magistrates, judges, corrections officials and others involved in the administration of the justice system in Victoria. It will serve as a useful reference source for academic and public libraries and a helpful guide for law and legal studies students as well as those taking criminology and criminal justice courses.

The major policy changes since the last edition was published in 2015 relate to:

  • Major changes to the Bail Act 1977 according primacy in bail determinations to maximising the safety of the community and of persons affected by crime. The Act has been amended to enlarge the number of categories of crime for which accused persons are to be treated as presumptively ineligible for release on bail or can now satisfy the tests for overcoming that presumption.
  • A statutory presumption that an adult accused, who has been remanded in custody, should appear before the court via an audio-visual link to the place of custody for routine hearings in the Magistrates’ Court.
  • The Juries Act 2000 has been amended to alter jury empanelment procedure in significant ways.
  • Jury trials have been further expedited by simplification and standardisation of jury directions by the enactment of the Jury Directions Act 2015 to enlarge upon and replace the Jury Directions Act 2013. The legislation directs that the reasoning of appellate courts must also be consistent with how a jury would be directed in accordance with the principles enunciated in the updated Act.
  • Changes have been made to the way in which certain vulnerable or impaired witnesses give evidence. A new pre-trial process of ground rules hearings to identify their needs including court appointed intermediaries to assist in communicating with them have been introduced.
  • Trial judges may also adopt an inquisitorial approach to the use of expert witnesses in a criminal trial under the Criminal Procedure Act 2009, or in investigations or special hearings under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997.
  • The Sentencing Act 1991 has received much attention. Penalties have been enhanced in an effort to reduce crime. Those efforts were significantly affected by case law which declared the baseline sentence scheme unworkable and led to the introduction of standard sentences for serious crimes and parole eligibility for serious offenders tightened.
  • The Serious Offenders Act 2018 makes use of civil post-sentence court orders to detain and supervise serious sexual offenders and serious violent offenders despite them having fully served their prison sentences.
  • Revamping key processes in imposing and enforcing monetary penalties has also taken place.
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