Discussion Paper Examines ‘Swift, Certain and Fair’ Approaches to Family Violence

20 February 2017

The Sentencing Advisory Council has today released a discussion paper as part of its project to examine ‘swift, certain and fair’ approaches to sentencing family violence offenders.

‘Swift, certain and fair’ approaches are ways of managing offenders who are serving their sentence in the community. Swift, certain and fair approaches aim to increase an offender’s compliance with the conditions of their sentence (such as attending treatment or staying free of alcohol and drugs). The approaches are based on the idea that offenders are more likely to comply with the conditions of their sentence if they believe that breaches will be discovered quickly, and punished quickly, consistently and fairly.

Following a recommendation by the Royal Commission into Family Violence, the Council was asked in September 2016 to advise the Attorney-General on the desirability of implementing a ‘swift, certain and fair’ approach to sentencing family violence offenders, and how such an approach might be implemented in Victoria.

The new discussion paper forms the basis of the Council’s consultation and community engagement, and contains:

  • a definition of what 'swift, certain and fair' approaches are;
  • a summary of the available evidence about the effectiveness of 'swift, certain and fair' approaches;
  • an outline of the current frameworks for managing family violence offenders in Victoria; and
  • a discussion of possible options for implementing a 'swift, certain and fair' approach in Victoria.

The Council is seeking submissions and comments from stakeholders and the broader community on the issues raised in the discussion paper.

To assist community members in sharing their views, the Council has developed additional materials, including a fact sheet and a brief online survey.

The deadline for submissions and comments is Friday 31 March 2017.