Proposal for reform
Reforms required for the proposal
9.18Key to the proposal will be providers and programmes, who will be independently assessed, accredited, and monitored. In addition, some legislative provision will need to be made and some policy infrastructure required.
9.19New legislation would be required to:
- outline the guiding principles of the alternative process;
- set down eligibility criteria and definitions of certain matters regarding victim and perpetrator participation in the alternative process;
- set out the criteria for excluding those cases in which there is such a compelling public interest, that they will not be permitted to proceed through the alternative process (the “public interest legislative descriptor test”);
- provide for a bar on criminal proceedings being commenced when the perpetrator completes the alternative process;
- provide certain protections for those who participate in the alternative process; and
- set out a mechanism for review of certain decisions by providers.
9.20Some changes will also be required to the Evidence Act 2006 in order to provide protections for participants in the process.
9.21Finally, the functions set out below will need to be performed if this reform proposal is to be given proper effect. Depending on the form of oversight, the functions, which may either be set out in new legislation or administratively assigned to an existing body, include:
- developing a framework for accreditation of programmes and providers;
- assessment, accreditation and ongoing monitoring/auditing of programmes and providers;
- developing guidelines/good practice standards to govern the delivery of programmes;
- building provider capacity;
- encouraging the development of programmes;
- developing a risk assessment framework for cases seeking entry to the alternative process (in order to assess what is an unacceptable risk to community safety);
- reviewing certain decisions of providers; and
- maintaining records and a central registry regarding completion of the alternative process.