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Making a Justice Human Research Ethics Committee application

An application for ethics approval must be made to the Justice Human Research Ethics Committee (JHREC) for all research and evaluation conducted by or for the department (including agencies and auspices) when it involves more than a low level risk for: 

  • people that the department is responsible for
  • people associated with or affected by the activities of the department.

This also includes the use of or access to information relating to any of the above groups.

Low risk is defined by the National Statement as "where the only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort. Where the risk, even if unlikely, is more serious than discomfort, the research is not low risk".

In addition, research involving the following groups will always require ethics consideration, irrespective of the level of risk, because of concerns regarding its sensitivity or vulnerability:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • people who may be involved in illegal activities
  • people with a cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability, or a mental illness.

How to apply

Applicants wishing to register an application for review may do so by completing the JHREC Application Form and submitting it in PDF format to

For more information on how to complete an application form, refer to the JHREC application guidelines.

For any questions regarding an application, please contact the JHREC secretariat on phone 03 8684 1514 or email     

If your research requires access to the National Coronial Information System database, in the first instance please contact for assistance. 

If your research involves gathering information related to Corrections Victoria, in the first instance please contact for assistance.  

Note: Submission closing dates outlined below are strictly applied.

JHREC meetings

Year Meeting number Submissions close Meeting date
2017 6 4 August 14 September
7 15 September 26 October
8 27 October 7 December
2018 1 22 December 2017 8 February
2 9 February 15 March
3 16 March 26 April
4 27 April 31 May
5 21 June 2 August
6 3 August 13 September
7 14 September 25 October
8 26 October 6 December

Current members

Members are appointed for three years and are eligible for re-appointment for a maximum term of nine years. 

  • Dr David Hamilton - Chair
  • Mr Andrew Boatman - Lay member
  • Ms Melanie Casley - Department representative
  • A/Prof Mark McMillan - Koori representative member
  • Dr Philomena Horsley - Researcher member
  • Mr Carl Wood - Lay member
  • Ms Penelope Ralston - Lawyer member
  • Prof Frances Quirk - Research member
  • Mr Abdullah Nu’Man - Pastoral care member
  • Mr Gordon Rosario - Professional care member
  • Dr Pam Montgomery - Lay member

Reporting to JHREC (for approved projects)

An Amendment Request Form needs to be completed when any alterations are made to the project such as staff changes and changes to the methodology or research instruments. If a department letter of support was attached to your application, the business areas concerned need to be informed of the amendment prior to submission to JHREC.

Annual Report Forms are to be submitted every 12 months for projects which extend beyond 12 months in duration.

Completion Forms must be submitted on the conclusion of the research phase. A copy of the research findings are also required on finalisation of the project. 

Note: long term or ongoing projects are required to submit a completion form at the end of each five-year period and renewed by submitting a new application.

Privacy legislation 

Researchers must ensure their proposal conforms to all relevant privacy legislation, including the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth), the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (Vic) and the Health Records Act 2001 (Vic). Researchers are responsible for providing sufficient information in their application to enable JHREC to determine whether the research represents any breach of the various privacy principles and, if so, whether the public interest in the research substantially outweighs the public interest in respecting privacy. For more information refer to Information privacy policy.

National Health and Medical Research Council 

The National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 requires that all research "involving or impacting on humans" conforms to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (External link)

Research must also comply with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (External link) which replaced the joint Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Vice Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) Statement and Guidelines on Research Practice (1997).

Making a complaint 

Any complaint about the JHREC's review of an application can be forwarded to the Director, Information Integrity and Access within the Department of Justice and Regulation, via email or post:

Director, Information and Integrity and Access 
24/121 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

The nature of the complaint should be clearly outlined, and any additional information supporting the complaint should also be provided. The Director of Information Integrity and Access will provide advice to the complainant on any action to be taken. 


Author: Justice Human Research Ethics Committee
Publisher: Department of Justice and Regulation
Date of Publication: September, 2016
Copyright State of Victoria, 2016




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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.