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New law to abolish all remaining suspended sentences

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Attorney-General Robert Clark will today introduce legislation into Parliament to abolish all remaining suspended sentences in Victoria.

“This legislation completes the delivery of the Government’s election commitment to abolish suspended sentences for all crimes,” Mr Clark said.

Suspended sentences were abolished from 1 May 2011 in the higher courts for serious offences including murder, rape and other serious sexual and violent offences, and for the significant offences of aggravated burglary, arson, recklessly causing serious injury and commercial drug trafficking,

The legislation will abolish remaining suspended sentences in two stages. In the first stage, all remaining suspended sentences will be abolished in the Supreme Court and County Court. In the second stage, suspended sentences will be abolished for all offences in the Magistrates’ Court.

The first stage will commence no later than 1 December this year, and the second stage will commence no later than 1 September 2014, for offences committed on or after those dates.

“Suspended sentences allow offenders to walk straight out of court and back into the community with no restrictions, community service obligations or reporting requirements,” Mr Clark said.

“This legislation completes the abolition of all remaining suspended sentences, which is a key component of the government’s reforms to ensure stronger and more effective sentencing that will better protect the community,” Mr Clark said.

“This will bring an end to the fiction of suspended sentences in Victoria, so that in future jail will truly mean jail.”

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