Submission – Victoria Legal Aid (Criminal Justice System)

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Victoria Legal Aid’s state-wide criminal practice provides legal advice and representation to children and adult clients in custody or appearing on bail or summons at Magistrates’ Courts and Children’s Courts across Victoria, and appearing in the County and Supreme Courts.

This submission highlights six foundational reforms to address the disproportionate over-criminalisation of First Nations people and which seek to put an end to deaths in custody and other harms: build a self-determined criminal justice system; identify and address systemic racism within the criminal justice system; address intersecting system failures which create and compound disadvantage; keep First Nations people out of the criminal justice system; make imprisonment a sanction of last resort and reduce the harms of imprisonment; and strengthen criminal justice system oversight and accountability.

Date: 15 December 2022