The Andrews Labor Government is encouraging the Victorian public to make submissions to the review of the state’s suppression order laws.
Former Supreme Court of Appeal judge Frank Vincent was appointed last November to review the Open Courts Act 2013 and consider whether it strikes the right balance between privacy, fair court proceedings and the public’s right to know.
Members of the public, media organisations and interested parties are invited to make submissions by visiting engage.vic.gov.au/open-courts-act-review
The Open Courts Act review is examining:
- the notice requirements and their impact on the rights of parties and the media to be heard when applications for suppression orders are made
- whether existing grounds for making a proceeding suppression order are adequate for the wide variety of matters that come before courts
- whether requirements that suppression orders clearly specify the information to be suppressed are operating effectively
- whether requirements that suppression orders operate only as long as necessary are being upheld
It will also review existing provisions under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009, which currently makes it an offence to publish any evidence or content of any report put before the court.
The review will consider what might be an appropriate balance between preserving the privacy of a person on a post-sentence supervision order and the public’s right to know the details of those proceedings.
Submissions to the review will close on 10 May, 2017.
Justice Vincent is expected to provide his advice to the Government later this year.
Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Martin Pakula
“We want to make sure that our suppression orders laws strike the right balance between the public’s right to know, privacy, and a person’s right to a fair trial.”
“It’s important that the community and the media has the opportunity to have a say and help to inform this important issue.”
“I encourage anyone with an interest in Victoria’s suppression order laws to make a submission and contribute to the review.”