Stiffer penalties in Victoria for race crimes

December 8, 2009 by Geoffrey Zygier
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Those convicted of committing crimes in Victoria subject of a religious, racial or sexual nature can now expect to receive stiffer sentences.

John Searle

John Searle

The Jewish Community Council of Victoria (JCCV) is delighted to see that the proposed amendments to the Sentencing Act recently announced by Victoria’s Attorney General Rob Hulls MP have now passed through both Houses of Parliament and have received Royal Assent.

JCCV president John Searle said that, “Since my assuming the presidency the JCCV has been increasingly active regarding antisemitism, Hate Crimes and crimes against, or vilification of, minority groups. I am delighted to see that the work we have done in presenting submissions to the State Government has been rewarded. I am extremely pleased to see that the legislation received support from both houses of Parliament.

I believe and hope that this legislation will help to minimise the abuse of minority groups.  In many respects it reiterates the right of all Victorians to be able to live securely in their own identity.

These amendments reinforce the government’s commitment and the commitment of all Victorians to live in a harmonious, multicultural society free from vilification or hatred based on a person’s background, race, religion or sexual orientation”.

Searle noted that “The amendments are in line with the work of the JCCV Executive which has been particularly diligent in attempting to combat vilification of all types and ensure that representatives of all groups within the Jewish community are included in community/JCCV events.  It is vital that all members of our own and the wider community are made to feel welcome and that no individuals or sections are excluded”.

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