Hon Michael Mischin LLB (Hons) BJuris (Hons) MLC

Hon Michael Mischin LLB (Hons) BJuris (Hons) MLC

Former Attorney General; Minister for Commerce

    New sentencing laws deliver better justice for WA

    11/09/2016 6:00 AM
     
    • GPS tracking for serious offenders after they have finished their sentence
    • Victims of crime to now include immediate family of the victim of an offence 

    Western Australia's sentencing laws will be significantly overhauled for the first time in more than 20 years under a reform package to target serious violent offenders and give a greater voice to victims and their families.

     

    Attorney General Michael Mischin will introduce the changes into State Parliament this week to deliver on the Liberal National Government's commitment to make sentencing clearer, simpler and transparent.

     

    "The Sentencing Legislation Amendment Bill 2016 brings the existing sentencing legislation up-to-date with community expectations about how justice should be administered," Mr Mischin said.

     

    "It aims at enhancing community safety, providing a greater range of sanctions available to the courts, and allowing more victims of crime to make a victim impact statement to the courts.

     

    "These amendments confirm the Liberal National Government's commitment to take a tougher approach to the small number of offenders who commit serious and violent offences, while at the same time giving courts more sentencing options for people convicted of lower level offences."

     

    The proposed changes include:

    • stricter controls through two-year post-sentence supervision orders - including via GPS tracking - for those convicted of serious violent offences, and other serious offences such as arson
    • significant broadening of the definition of a victim of crime to include both the primary victim and that person's immediate family, which will give a voice to a greater range of victims, both at the point of sentencing and if a prisoner is being considered for parole
    • altering the definition of a victim of crime to include a person who has suffered psychological and psychiatric harm, not just bodily harm. 

    Fact File

    • The Bill implements the recommendations of a statutory review of the Sentencing Act 1995 (WA), which sought the views of key stakeholders such as judicial officers and victims of crime, as well as issues raised in WA Court of Appeal decisions
    • The Prisoners Review Board will have the discretion to apply a post-sentence supervision order for a period of two years
    • Offences that determine a serious violent offender include manslaughter, unlawful assault causing death, grievous bodily harm, robbery, arson and a number of sexual offences
    • Post-sentence supervision orders will not replace the existing legislative provisions relating to dangerous sexual offenders.  Sex offenders under sentence for a serious sexual offence will continue to be considered for a continuing detention order or a supervision order under the Dangerous Sexual Offenders Act 2006 (WA) 

    Attorney General's office - 6552 5600

     

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