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Former High Court Judge Appointed As Special Investigator

29 June 2021

The Andrews Labor Government is continuing to deliver on the recommendations of the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants with the appointment of a Special Investigator.

Former Judge of the High Court, Justice Geoffrey Nettle AC QC will take up the important role from 19 July to consider whether criminal or disciplinary charges are warranted in response to the matters uncovered by the Royal Commission.

The appointment is another important step forward in restoring confidence in the justice system – ensuring that possible criminal conduct or police misconduct related to the Commission is thoroughly investigated.

Justice Nettle brings more than 45 years of legal experience, sitting as both a trial and appellate judge in the Victorian Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, as well as serving in Australia’s highest court through more than five years of service as a Justice of the High Court of Australia.

In 2019, Justice Nettle was appointed a Companion of the Order of Australia for eminent service to the judiciary, and to the law, to criminal and civil appeals reform, to legal education, and to professional standards.

This distinguished career stands Justice Nettle in excellent stead to take on the complex and important role of Special Investigator.

As recommended by the Royal Commission, the Special Investigator will be tasked with investigating potential criminal conduct of Nicola Gobbo and relevant current and former Victoria Police officers, and any disciplinary breaches by Victoria Police officers.

Legislation providing the Special Investigator with all necessary powers to undertake the role will be introduced into Parliament later this year, consistent with the Commission’s recommendations. Today’s appointment allows Justice Nettle to begin crucial preparatory work to progress investigations as soon possible after the legislation passes.

The Government has invested $13.47 million to support the work of the Special Investigator – part of $88 million delivered by the Victorian Budget 2021/22to implement the Commission’s recommendations.   

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes

“We’re getting on with the work of restoring the integrity of the justice system by implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations – ensuring our justice system has Victorians’ confidence and trust.”

“Justice Nettle’s extensive and wide-ranging experience at the highest levels of the legal system will ensure a comprehensive, independent and fair investigation is completed into these matters.”

Reviewed 29 June 2021

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