The Victims’ Charter sets out 12 principles that criminal justice and victims’ support agencies are required to follow in dealing with victims of crime. The Charter is contained in legislation called the Victims Charter Act 2006.
This means that, as a victim of crime you can expect:
1. To be treated with courtesy, respect and dignity.
2. To be given clear, timely and consistent information about your rights and entitlements and, if appropriate, be referred to victims’ and legal support services.
3. To be told by police of key progress in the investigation. If giving you details about the investigation is likely to put it at risk, you should be told this.
4. To be told about the prosecution, including charges laid, court dates and times, court outcomes and any appeals lodged, as well as any substantial changes to charges.
5. To be told (if you request it) about the outcome of any bail application and any special conditions of bail which are intended to protect you.
6. To have the court process explained to you, including your ability to attend relevant court proceedings and your role if you are a witness.
7. As far as is practical, to be protected from unnecessary contact with, and intimidation by, the accused, their family, supporters and defence witnesses while you are at court.
8. To make a Victim Impact Statement which will be taken into account by the judge in sentencing the offender, and have access to help when preparing the Victim Impact Statement
9. To not have your personal information, including residential address and telephone number, disclosed to anybody except in accordance with the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014.
10. To have your property that is held for investigation or evidence stored and handled in a lawful, respectful and secure manner and, in consultation with you, returned as soon as practicable.
11. To request that the court order the offender to pay you compensation if you are the victim of a violent crime. You may also apply for financial assistance from the Government for harm resulting from a violent crime.
12. To apply to be included on the Victims Register if an adult offender is sentenced to prison for a violent crime against you, receive specific information regarding the release of the offender, and have your views taken into account by a parole board when any decision about parole of the offender is being considered.
If you feel that any of the principles in the Victims’ Charter have not been followed in your particular matter you are entitled to make a complaint.
Victims’ Charter enquiries and complaints line
T: 1800 118 728
Office of Public Prosecutions
If your complaint is about the Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP), you can call, email or write to the Community Liaison Officer at the OPP.
T: 1800 180 587
M: PO Box 13085, Melbourne VIC 8010