Report Released on Offender-Paid Compensation in Victoria

25 October 2018

The Council has today released a report examining whether restitution and compensation orders should become sentencing orders, and other ways to improve offender-paid compensation in Victoria.

The report follows a request for advice from the Attorney-General, arising from a recommendation of the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

After identifying insurmountable problems, including serious risks to equality before the law, the Council recommends that restitution and compensation orders should remain orders made in addition to an offender’s sentence, and does not recommend that they become sentencing orders.

The Council has instead recommended a strengthened ‘hybrid’ model for victims’ compensation that incorporates elements of both criminal and civil law.

The Council also recommends a range of reforms to improve the system for victims’ financial reparation, including:

  • providing consistent and timely information to victims on their compensation options
  • ensuring consistent use of powers to restrain offenders’ assets, so that the assets can be used to pay restitution or compensation
  • waiving fees (where possible) to assist victims of crime to enforce their orders independently.

The Council also recommends that the government consider:

  • state enforcement of orders for restitution and compensation through civil mechanisms
  • the establishment of a specialist legal service for victims of crime.

The Council’s report, Restitution and Compensation Orders, is available from our website.