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2016 Victims and Justice National Conference

Supreme Court of Victoria

Monday 8 and Tuesday 9 August
Melbourne Cricket Ground

Tickets on sale now. (external link)

What does justice mean for victims of crime in the 21st century?

When victims of crime are asked what they want from our criminal justice system, they often respond that they just want “justice”, but what does justice really mean for victims in the 21st century?  

The media often portrays justice simply in terms of harsher prison sentences and victims, by implication, as wanting retribution. Victims of crime however, have a broader and deeper view of what justice means to them. It is widely accepted that victims want to be included in the justice process and to be treated with respect. Yet is procedural justice more important to victims than the outcome? Is restorative justice or retributive justice?

This conference takes a critical look behind these slogans and asks what research and practice are really telling us. Considering the diversity of people as victims and the wide range of offences they experience, what are ways forward? Academics, practitioners and policy-makers will explore ways to move beyond debate to future pathways.

Featuring internationally renowned key note speaker, Professor Jo-Anne Wemmers from the University of Montreal (Canada), together with leading Australian academics and practitioners, this conference will explore what about justice matters to victims in the 21st century and how to get there.

Keynote speakers

Professor Jo-Anne Wemmers

Victim participation and justice

Professor Kathleen Daly

Redressing wrongs: whether, how, and why money matters to victims

Dr David Plater

Modern prosecutors and victims: Natural partners or irreconcilable differences?

Dr Robyn Holder

Sequencing justice: How women think about restorative and retributive justice after violence

Greg Davies, Victims of Crime Commissioner of Victoria

How victims can influence legislation and policy

Concurrent sessions

Models of support for victims: One size does not fit all

Chris Law

Contact Service Delivery Manager, Victim Support New Zealand

Caroline Steel, 

The Office of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions

Andrea Bayliss, 

Manager, Eastern Victims Assistance Program

Incorporating victims’ rights and needs in the criminal justice system: Challenges and responses

Dr Robyn Holder and Dr Elaine Fishwick

Griffith University and University of Sydney

Melissa Griffiths

Churchill Fellow 2014

Kim McGregor

Chief Victims Advisor, New Zealand

Innovative justice: New ways of delivering justice

Elena Campbell

Manager Policy and Research, Centre for Innovative Justice

Nicola Doumany 

Director Victim Assist Queensland

Vulnerable victims : Working towards an accessible and inclusive criminal justice system

Trevor Carroll

Executive Officer, Disability Justice Advocacy

Terese Henning

Director Tasmanian Law Reform Institute

Dr Nanette Rogers S.C.

Crown Prosecutor, Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions

Panel discussion

Legal representation for victims

Legal representation for crime victims is often seen as the means of ‘leveling the playing field’ between victims and accused and the remedy for their exclusion as parties to the criminal justice process. The concept of legal representation for victims in our adversarial
system is a complex one, particularly as its supporters often have different ideas about what it means and at what stage of the process it is most needed.

This panel discussion aims to ‘unpack’ what legal representation actually means, and at what stage of the process people see it as relevant and why. The panel will explore the implications of legal representation at different stages of the criminal justice process, the
particular issues that legal representation is seen to be addressing and whether there may be other alternatives to address these issues. It will also look at some of the implications for the justice system more broadly of extending legal representation to victims.


Her Honour Judge Sexton

County Court of Victoria

John Cain

Office of Public Prosecutions Victoria

Professor Joanne Wemmers

Université de Montréal

Trieu Huan

Victoria Legal Aid

Dr David Plater

South Australian Law Reform Institute

See the full program

See all of the presentation abstracts and speaker biographies in the Conference program.

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Tickets on sale now. (external link)