Victoria’s new Special Investigator will be given the powers to examine potential criminal conduct and disciplinary matters raised by the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants.
New legislative reforms to be introduced into Parliament today will formally establish the Office of the Special Investigator and deliver on key recommendations of the Royal Commission.
The Special Investigator Bill 2021 will require the Special Investigator to consider whether there is sufficient evidence for criminal charges or disciplinary breaches in connection with Victoria Police’s use of former lawyer Nicola Gobbo as a human source.
If the Office of the Special Investigator uncovers sufficient evidence of criminal offending, a brief of evidence will be provided to the Director of Public Prosecutions to determine whether charges should be laid.
The Victorian Government appointed former High Court judge Geoffrey Nettle AC QC as Special Investigator in June, who has already started crucial preliminary work including reviewing the publicly available Commission records.
Justice Nettle has more than four decades of legal experience, sitting as both a trial and appellate judge in the Victorian Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, as well as serving in Australia’s highest court through more than five years of service as a Justice of the High Court of Australia.
The Government has provided $87.9 million to implement the Royal Commission recommendations – including $13.47 million to establish the Office of the Special Investigator.
All recommendations directed to Government have been delivered within the three and six-month implementation timeframes, and recommendations with a 12-month timeframe are on track for delivery.
In September 2021, legislation passed Parliament to establish an Implementation Monitor to track implementation of the reforms and appointed Sir David Carruthers to this important role.
As stated by Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes
“This is another important step in restoring the public’s confidence in our criminal justice system and to right the wrongs laid bare by the Royal Commission.”
“We’re meeting our promise to implement all of the Royal Commission’s recommendations directed to Government.”