In early 2013, the Council received a request from the Attorney-General to review and report on aspects of the use of fines as a sentencing option in Victoria.

Terms of Reference for the Fines Project

"The Sentencing Advisory Council is requested to review and report on the imposition and enforcement of fines as a sentence by Victorian courts, including fines that are imposed by a court in matters that commence with the issuing of an infringement notice.

"The purpose of the review is to ensure the effective, efficient and principled use of fines as a sentence.

"In particular, the Council should consider:

  • Issues arising from the number of infringement matters subsequently heard in open court
  • Issues arising from the conversion of fines to an order for community work
  • Issues arising from the conversion of fines (including infringement fines) to an order for imprisonment, especially when the imprisonment is served concurrently with another sentence of imprisonment, and
  • The desirability of harmonising the enforcement mechanisms and procedures for court-imposed fines with those for infringement notices.

"In conducting the review, the Council should have regard to the purposes and operation of mechanisms and processes for the imposition and enforcement of fines in other Australian and comparable overseas jurisdictions."

The Council received 12 submissions. Public submissions are now available on this website.

The Council provided its advice to the Attorney-General on 2 April 2014. Its report, The Imposition and Enforcement of Court Fines and Infringement Penalties in Victoria, is available for viewing and download from this website.