News

Changes for Victorian Courts during COVID-19 Crisis

The Victorian State Government will make changes to Victoria’s laws so that the State Courts can operate safely during the COVID-19 crisis.

The new changes will allow the courts to reduce the person to person contact by implementing the following:

  • electronic filing of documents;
  • more telephone links; and
  • more audio-video links.

In serious criminal cases, defendants will have the option to have their case heard by a single Judge rather than a jury.

Young offenders who are required to attend conciliation conferences and counselling, will be able to attend these using other forms of communication rather than attending in person.

For people with Community Corrections Orders in place, Magistrates will soon be given the power to order electronic monitoring conditions. This was a condition that only Supreme Court and County Court Judges could order in the past.

The government will also have the power to make changes to how the justice system operates without bringing new legislation to the parliament. These changes will be in effect for six months.

However, the government says they will maintain their tough bail laws and sentencing laws.

https://www.theage.com.au/national/victoria/covid-19-becomes-law-government-to-give-itself-sweeping-new-powers-20200420-p54lkf.html