Victoria Passes Bill to Keep Craig Minogue and Other Police Killers in Prison
The Victorian Government has passed the Corrections Amendment (Parole) Bill 2018 (VIC) (‘the Bill’) on 26 July 2018, after introducing it on 24 July 2018. The Bill is for the purpose of making restrictive conditions for making a parole order for prisoners. The Bill specifically names Craig Minogue, who was convicted in 1988 for the murder of a police officer. The Bill is currently awaiting assent.
The Bill proposes to amend the Corrections Act 1986 (VIC) to achieve the following goals:
- The insertion of a new section specifically naming Craig Minogue stating that the Board must not make a parole order in respect of Minogue;
- The substitution of section 74AAA to provide clarification about the intended operation of parole laws as well as to clarify the High Court’s decision in Minogue v Victoria  HCA 27;
- The substitution of section 127A to provide that the amendments made by this Bill will apply to all parole applications made by prisoners that have not been determined upon commencement of the Bill.
Background to this Bill
The Bill aims to clarify the operation of parole laws applied in the High Court case of Minogue v Victoria  HCA 27. Minogue was convicted in 1988 of one count of murder caused by the explosion of a car bomb which Minogue had parked near the Russell Street Police Complex and the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court Building on 27 March 1986. Due to Minogue’s actions, a policewoman, Angela Taylor, passed away, and 22 other people received injuries. Minogue was then sentenced to imprisonment for life with a non-parole period of 28 years. At the end of this non-parole period on 30 September 2016, he made an application for the grant of parole to the Adult Parole Board (‘the Board’). At this time, the Corrections Act 1986 (Vic) was amended by the insertion of section 74AAA, which provided that the Board must not make a parole order for a prisoner who was convicted for the murder of a person who the prisoner knew was a police officer, unless the Board is satisfied that the prisoner is in imminent danger of dying or is seriously incapacitated. Additionally, after the commencement of the parole application proceedings by Minogue, the Corrections Act 1968 (Vic) was amended again to provide that the amendments by section 74AAA applied to any prisoner, regardless of whether the prisoner was eligible for parole or whether the prisoner had taken steps to apply to the Board to ask for parole.
High Court’s Decision in Minogue v State of Victoria  HCA 27
Minogue argued in the High Court that these provisions did not apply in respect of whim because his parole eligibility date had arisen, and the Board’s jurisdiction had been enlivened and exercised before the commencement of the provisions. His additional argument was that section 74AAA in particular did not apply to him because the provision appeared to turn on whether the prisoner had knowledge as to whether the person killed was a police officer. He argued that this state of mind issue was not addressed during his conviction.
The High Court decided that in the case of section 74AAA, the section applied to a prisoner who was sentenced on the basis that the prisoner knew or was reckless as to whether the person murdered was a police officer, and found that the original conviction contained to reference to Minogue’s state of mind about whether the person killed was a police officer. Due to this determination the High Court concluded that the provision did not apply to the plaintiff. For more information on this case, please read TimeBase’s earlier article
In a, Corrections Minister Gayle Tierney stated on the matter that Minogue was specifically named in the Bill:
The Minister for Police, Lisa Neville was reported in thisas stating:
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Corrections Amendment (Parole) Bill 2018 (VIC), second reading speech and explanatory memorandum, as published on TimeBase LawOne.
Corrections Act 1986 (VIC), as published on TimeBase Lawone.
Minogue v State of Victoria  HCA 27.
[media release] Minister for Corrections, ‘,’ 24 July 2018.