Summary Crime Evaluation report

Summary Crime Evaluation report

Note this page contains information about the Summary Crime Evaluation, for information about the Better justice, every day project see How we are improving our services.

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An independent review of our criminal law services in the Magistrates’ Court is now available.

This report makes a number of recommendations about what is required to repair the system in order to create a space for better justice to be served.

The pressures on our criminal law services and within the busiest part of the criminal justice system – the Magistrates’ Court – have been building over a number of years and are now approaching a crisis point.

With thousands of extra police and more demand coming, now is the time for Victoria Legal Aid, the police, the courts and government to come together and make a concerted effort to reform this system for clients, victims and the whole community. By working together, we can deliver better justice, every day. 

Pressure on our criminal law service

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The findings and recommendations will provide the foundation for the development of a long-term strategy around our summary crime services and for how we will work with the courts, police and government on repairing, reforming and properly funding the summary crime system. 


In 2015 we commissioned the Law and Justice Foundation of New South Wales to undertake an independent evaluation of our summary crime services. This was prompted by rising demand for our criminal law services in the Magistrates’ Court and significant pressures on staff working across all parts of the system. We wanted to know if our summary crime program was appropriate and sustainable, so the report necessarily makes findings about the summary criminal justice system as a whole.   

We all have a role to play in supporting our long-term summary crime strategy which affects so many of us in our everyday work, and so many of our clients and stakeholders. The Magistrates’ Court is where most Victorians experience the criminal justice system and as the report has found the system is approaching crisis.

Pressure in the criminal justice system

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