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Click here to download 20090529-AmendmentToSentencingAct.pdf

Amendment to Sentencing Act

02 June 2009

An excellent first step

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria welcomed today’s announcement by Attorney General, Rob Hulls that the Sentencing Act will be amended to ensure that Judges take account of racial motivations when sentencing offenders.

JCCV President, John Searle stated “racially motivated crimes have been an issue for some time. Attacks that are racially motivated represent not just an attack upon an individual but put the whole community in fear; they cannot be tolerated.”

Indeed, the JCCV has been discussing this issue with representatives of government, the police and other ethnic groups for a number of months including the Minister assisting the Premier on Multicultural Affairs, James Merlino. Searle stated that “we are delighted that Minister Merlino and the Attorney General have clearly listened to and acted upon the submissions that we and a number of other groups have made. They and the government clearly recognise that the time to act is now. I am pleased with the government’s decision and see it as an important first step.”

Searle noted that the JCCV has also suggested that the racial vilification legislation may need to be reviewed and that a Hate Crimes Unit needs to be established by Victoria Police. He was delighted to see that the government will give further consideration to these steps. “The government must do all it can to send a clear message that it will not allow our multi cultural community to be destabilised. I am delighted to read that the government is looking at a range of reforms” he added.

Searle concluded by affirming the JCCV’s commitment to continue working with the government, Victoria Police, and other community groups to ensure that the harmony of multicultural Victoria is maintained.”

For further inquiries please contact: Mr. John Searle, President JCCV on (03) 9272 5566.

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