Restitution and Compensation Orders: Online Survey

The Sentencing Advisory Council has been asked to advise the Victorian Government on whether restitution and compensation orders under the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic) should become sentencing orders, rather than remain as orders in addition to sentence (ancillary orders).

You can find more details about restitution and compensation orders, and about this project, on our project page.

We would like your ideas on questions asked in our Restitution and Compensation Orders: Issues and Options Paper. You can make a written submission or complete this survey.

Scope of This Survey

This survey has seven questions:

  • you don’t have to answer all of the questions
  • you can answer each question briefly or in detail
  • we’ve provided some brief information about restitution and compensation orders for you to consider before you begin
  • finally, you will be able to choose the level of privacy and confidentiality for your comments.

What Are Restitution and Compensation Orders?

Under the Sentencing Act 1991 (Vic), a court may order an offender to pay to a victim compensation for property loss or injury, or a court may order restitution requiring an offender to return stolen goods, or money from their sale, or make payment of a sum of money up to the value of the stolen property.

Restitution and compensation orders (known as ancillary orders) are imposed by a court in addition to, but separate from, the sentence imposed upon an offender (for example, a fine or a community correction order). They are not intended as punishment, but are to compensate the victim for property loss, injury or harm caused by the offence, or to return property stolen from the victim.

In Victoria, the purposes of sentencing do not include the financial reparation of victims, so a sentence cannot currently be imposed for the purpose of financially compensating a victim.

Under the current system, if the offender does not pay their order for restitution or compensation, the victim can only enforce payment through the civil courts.  This rarely happens, perhaps because civil enforcement can be expensive and difficult. In addition, many offenders have no financial means to pay an order for restitution or compensation.

This survey will ask you a number of questions to identify ways to improve the system, so that where an offender does have money or assets, an order for restitution or compensation can be enforced against them.