Vic Act to Establish the Police Informants Monitor Receives Assent
The Police Informants Royal Commission Implementation Monitor Bill 2021 (Vic) ("the Bill") was first introduced by Victorian Minister for Crime Prevention Natalie Hutchins on 22 June 2021. The Bill passed both houses by 9 September 2021 and received assent on 14 September 2021.
The Police Informants Royal Commission Implementation Monitor Act 2021 (Vic) (“the Act”) fully commenced on 15 September 2021.
Purpose of the Legislation
As outlined in the Bill’s Explanatory Memorandum, the Act:
The Royal Commission
The Bill was introduced in response to recommendations put forward by the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (“the Royal Commission”). The Royal Commission was conducted by the Victorian Government and was established in December 2018. The Royal Commission follows the publication of a High Court case, which revealed that a former criminal defence barrister was a registered Victoria Police informant.
The Royal Commission released its final report on November 2020 and made a total of 111 recommendations directed towards the:
- Victorian Government;
- Victoria Police;
- Director of Public Prosecutions;
- Victorian Bar Council;
- Public Interest Monitor;
- Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission;
- Law Institute of Victoria;
- Law Council of Australia;
- Legal Services Council; and
- Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner.
Recommendation 109 within the final report of the Royal Commission, specifically, states:
The Implementation Monitor
The Implementation Monitor's main functions are to:
- monitor and assess the implementation of the recommendations made by the Royal Commission; and
- report to the Attorney General on the progress and adequacy of this implementation.
In achieving its function, the Implementation Monitor is empowered to do such things as:
- assess progress throughout the implementation process;
- access documents and meetings of the Implementation Taskforce, which is responsible for the coordination and completion of the implementation;
- provide advice to support the implementation process; and
- require regular reports from the Victorian Police regarding its progress in fulfilling its disclosure obligations.
Comment and Reaction
Commenting in a November 2020 Media Release, Victorian Attorney-General Jill Hennessy said:
In Minister Hutchins' second reading speech regarding the Bill, she commented:
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Police Informants Royal Commission Implementation Monitor Act 2021 (Vic) and explanatory materials available from TimeBase's LawOne Service
Police Informants Royal Commission Implementation Monitor Bill 2021 (Vic) and explanatory materials available from TimeBase's LawOne Service