Urgent action needed to repair Victoria’s justice system

The Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants, due to report at the end of November, has heard of inappropriate dealings, breaches of Victoria Police policy and alleged criminal conduct.

The Commission has so far considered issues which cast a stain over Victoria’s whole justice system.

Concerning submissions by IBAC and the DPP to the Royal Commission indicate they are insufficiently resourced to undertake the investigations needed to test allegations of criminal conduct, raising the question of which agency will perform this important work.

With tens of millions already spent and scores of prisoners looking to challenge their convictions and jailing, it would be untenable to not hold those responsible accountable in a timely fashion.

Following the model used in Queensland’s Fitzgerald Royal Commission into police corruption, Daniel Andrews should immediately establish an independent special prosecutor with appropriate resources. An independent special prosecutor should work in parallel to the Royal Commission and be separate to Victoria Police. As allegations of criminality relate to current or former members of Victoria Police, it would be inappropriate for police to do this investigatory work.

Comments attributable to Shadow Attorney-General, Edward O’Donohue:

“So many people have suffered as a result of this dark period in our history and it would be unconscionable of Daniel Andrews to not finish this important process and ensure justice is served.

“Serious issues of corruption and criminal conduct must be investigated thoroughly, and agencies must be properly resourced in order to do that job comprehensively.”

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