06 September 2018

New review process for discontinuances

The Director of Public Prosecutions, Kerri Judd QC, has introduced a new process to give victims an additional say before decisions are made to discontinue a prosecution.

The new process gives effect to recommendations made by the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse and the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

Ms Judd said a decision to discontinue a prosecution was a serious matter which could involve a discontinuance of all charges against a particular accused, or a discontinuance of all charges in respect of a particular complainant.

At present victims are kept informed and their views sought when important decisions are to be made in a prosecution. This new process provides an additional opportunity for victims to have input prior to a Senior Crown Prosecutor or the DPP reviewing a decision to discontinue.

If a decision is made to discontinue, this decision is not final until the victims are informed and asked if there is anything further to be taken into account in an internal review.

Any additional information provided by victims will be given to a Senior Crown Prosecutor or the DPP who will then review the case in full and make the final decision to discontinue or not.

Victims will be informed of the final decision before it is announced in court.

The process provides that the views of victims must be sought unless:

  • the victim does not want to be contacted about the prosecution; or
  • the victim cannot be contacted after reasonable attempt.

The process will be reviewed after three months.

For further information contact:

Danielle Alosi

03 9603 7858