Member for Western Victoria
Derryn Hinch’s Justice Party

Open Courts Legislation

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:13): My question is to the Attorney-General. The Vincent review, as it is commonly referred to, was a review of the Open Courts Act 2013 and the way that Victoria suppresses information pertaining to court proceedings. We are after all often termed the ‘suppression state’. Figures just out today reveal that we are home to more than half of the country’s suppression orders. The report and its 18 recommendations were handed down in September 2017, with Premier Andrews saying that 17 of the 18 recommendations from the independent review would be fully implemented in this term of government. Your government surprisingly remain guarded about the last recommendation, a Public Interest Monitor or, as I like to refer to it, an open justice advocate. Attorney, is this commitment to implement 17 of the 18 Vincent review recommendations before the next election still the government’s current position?

Mr GRIMLEY (Western Victoria) (12:16): Thank you, Attorney. Last year the government rectified mistakes it unintentionally made regarding sexual assault survivors being able to name themselves in the context of being a survivor. Amendments passed in this place that ensured the next set of Judicial Proceedings Reports Act 1958 changes in regard to deceased sexual assault victims will be finalised before the repeal of section 4B. Recommendation 100 of the 2020 Victorian Law Reform Commission report was further reinforced in case law by Judge McInerney’s decision in Jaime-lee Page’s case last year. Judge McInerney said Ms Page did not need his permission to name Carol as naming deceased victims of sexual assault had always been lawful. I understand, according to a media release this morning on the Judicial Proceedings Reports Amendment Bill 2021, that this establishes a victim privacy order. Attorney, can you update the chamber on how this bill will conform with our open justice principles and can you ensure that the latest amendments will ensure that families of victims will continue to have a voice should they wish it to be heard


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