Victoria has a legal system, not a justice system

Today’s manifestly inadequate sentence of a man guilty of killing his wife, dumping her body and then lying to family and police, underscores the crisis in our justice system. Under Labor, Victoria has a legal system but not a justice system.

Under Victoria’s legal system you get five years jail for accidently crashing a bus into a bridge and six years for killing your wife and concealing your crime. This isn’t justice. This woefully inadequate sentence is not only unjust; it undermines all the efforts and work being done by so many to eliminate family violence.

There is no point in attacking judges applying flawed laws and precedents. It is the job of Parliament to fix the deep flaws in Victoria’s sentencing laws.

However, one of the first acts of the re-elected Andrews Labor Government was to abolish the Joint Parliamentary Law Reform, Road and Community Safety Committee. This was a mistake which the Premier needs to fix without delay.

I call on Daniel Andrews to immediately establish a Joint Parliamentary Law and Sentencing Reform Committee. The first item of business of this committee must be to review and reform Victoria’s broken sentencing laws around family violence and other crimes against the person.

Today’s sentence underlines the gulf between legal practice and community views in this State. The Liberal Nationals believe in strong sentences to deter violent crimes and punish those who commit them. We will continue to stand up for wholesale reform of our sentencing laws and practice in Victoria.

Michael O'Brien MP

Leader of the Opposition

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