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Laws and regulation

Victorian Parliament House

As part of the Victorian Government's commitment to a safer and fairer Victoria, the department makes and updates laws and regulations with focus on access to justice, equitable and fair outcomes and the protection of rights and the rule of law.

Consultation with the community, business and stakeholders is central to the department’s work in this area. Within the justice system, the department works with a range of statutory offices, authorities and agencies which oversee and regulate legal practices and services. Through its business units and bodies, the department regularly consults the community and businesses over possible changes to the law and ways to improve efficiency and organisation. The public, as well as businesses in both the public and private sectors, all have the chance to contribute to new legislation before it goes before Parliament through policy papers, policy reviews and other consultative processes.

Updating and reviewing legislation is an ongoing process, and the department is currently taking action in a number of areas of civil and criminal law, courts policy and human rights, as featured below.

Who's involved

Legal Practitioners' Liability Committee

Provides professional indemnity insurance to Victorian legal practitioners

Council of Legal Education & Board of Examiners

Regulates entry to the legal profession in Victoria

Legal Services Board

Regulates the legal profession in Victoria

Office of the Public Advocate

Protects the interests, rights and dignity of people with a disability

Office of Public Prosecutions Victoria

Prosecutes serious criminal matters on behalf of the community

Native Title Unit

Provides policy advice on native title and related issues

Sentencing Advisory Council

Informs, educates and advises on sentencing issues

Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission

Protects against discrim­i­na­tion, sex­ual harass­ment, vic­tim­i­sa­tion and racial or reli­gious vil­i­fi­ca­tion

Victorian Government Solicitor's Office

Provides advice and legal solutions to the Victorian Government and its statutory authorities

Victorian Inspectorate

Oversees Victoria’s new integrity system

Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine

Provides the justice system with evidence to ensure safe convictions and appropriate acquittals

Human Rights Unit

Develops, coordinates and reviews policy and legislation for human rights matters

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Justice scale

How laws are made and regulated

In Victoria, laws come from the Australian Constitution, federal legislation, Victorian legislation and common law

Parliament of Victoria logo

Victorian legislation and parliamentary documents (External link)

To find a piece of legislation or a bill currently before the Parliament of Victoria, visit the Victorian legislation and parliamentary website

Group of young Muslim women in head scarves using computer

Human rights legislation

The Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 aims to ensure human rights are valued and protected

Two people discussing civil law issues at a desk

Civil Law

Civil law regulates the rights and responsibilities of individuals, groups and organisations in their interactions

Trial proceeding inside a courtroom

Criminal Law

Criminal law regulates conduct in society to protect the community and sanction those who commit crimes

Legal panel

Regulation of legal services (External link)

Several bodies are responsible for regulating the legal profession in Victoria

Aerial view of Lakes Entrance

Native title

History and legislation behind the recognition and protection of native title including the Mabo decision and the Native Title Act 1993

Horses racing at Spring Racing Carnival at Caulfield racecourse

Liquor, gaming and racing policy

Victorian Government policy on liquor, and gaming and racing, and policy-related reports, submissions and discussion papers

Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander flags

The department acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the Traditional Custodians of the land and acknowledges and pays respect to their Elders, past and present.