The Justice and Human Research Ethics Committee (JHREC) is convened by the Secretary of the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The JHREC's function is to conduct ethical reviews of research and evaluations and to protect the welfare and rights of participants in research. In doing this, the JHREC ensures that research proposals conform to the principles and requirements of the National Health and Medical Research Council's National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2007)
The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2007 was amended by the National Health and Medical Research Council in July 2018 and becomes effective on 1 January 2019.
Please note that applications submitted after 1 January 2019 must comply with the updated (2018) version of the National Statement (External link), available via the NHMRC website.
An application for ethics approval must be made to the 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 for whom the department is responsible
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org (External link)
For more information on how to complete an application form, refer to the JHREC application guidelines below.
For any questions regarding an application, or if you require an alternative version of documents for accessibility reasons, please contact the JHREC secretariat on phone 03 8684 1514 or email email@example.com (External link)
If your research requires access to the National Coronial Information System database, in the first instance please contact firstname.lastname@example.org (External link) for assistance.
If your research involves gathering information related to Corrections Victoria, in the first instance please contact email@example.com (External link) for assistance.
Note: Submission closing dates outlined below are strictly applied.
- Dr David Hamilton - Chair
- Mr Julian Devery - Lawyer member
- Ms Melanie Casley - Department representative
- Dr Philomena Horsley - Researcher member
- Mr Andrew Boatman - Lay member
- Dr Pam Montgomery - Lay member
- Mr Abdullah Nu’Man - Pastoral care member
- Ms Penelope Ralston - Lawyer member
- Mr Gordon Rosario - Professional care member
- Dr Danny Sullivan - Professional care member
- Professor Stuart Kinner - Research member
- Mr Carl Wood - Lay member
- Ms Julie Binstead - Pastoral care member
Members are appointed for three years and are eligible for re-appointment for a maximum term of nine years.
Vacancies in all membership categories arise from time to time. The department welcomes expressions of interest for appointment for all membership categories. These categories are:
- Lay member
- Research member
- Lawyer member
- Pastoral care member
- Professional care member
- Koori representative 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.
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 by 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.