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Too many Victorians in Gaol?
Members' Lunch with David Jones AM and George Hampel AM, QC
Prof Ian Dunn AM
June 16, 2022 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm$80.00 – $95.00
For decades Victoria had a reputation as a State with low rates of crime, and, commensurately lower rates of imprisonment. But in recent years there has been a dramatic change. Whilst we still live in a State boasting very low crime rates by international standards, the number of people imprisoned has doubled, pro rata, since 1980.
This can lead to disastrous consequences. Contrary to previous practice, a very large number of unconvicted people are held in prison on remand. And Victorians have been shocked by the coronial inquest into the death in custody of a young indigenous woman, refused bail on shoplifting charges. Whilst her death might have been preventable, the question arises “why was she in custody at all?”
Whilst the reasons are numerous the problem lies partly in bail laws introduced in haste after various incidents, and also “reforms” to parole laws.
Melbourne Forum is privileged to have within its ranks two ex judges with a deep interest in this topic. The principal speaker will be former Judge David Jones AM who served on the County Court for nearly 20 years and had vast experience in criminal trials and also on the Parole Board. He served for many years on the Victorian Law Reform Commission. He was previously President of VCAT and has held many other critical positions, being appointed by both State and Federal Governments. And he has had the time to chair the AFL Tribunal!
A commentary will be provided by Professor George Hampel AM, QC, a Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria for 17 years. For many of those years he was the judge in charge of the criminal list in the Supreme Court, and since standing down from the Bench he has been a Professor of Trial Advocacy at Monash University. In that role he has lectured widely around the world including to advocates appearing before the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
This will be a lively session with ample time for questions, and likely diverging views!
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