Open Justice, the Media and Reporting on Preventive Supervision and Detention Orders Imposed on Serious Sex Offenders in Victoria
journal contributionposted on 29.10.2019 by Sharon Rodrick
Any type of content formally published in an academic journal, usually following a peer-review process.
This article is concerned with the extent to which the media should be able to report judicial proceedings in which Victorian courts are asked to make supervision or detention orders in respect of sex offenders who have completed their custodial sentence, but who are regarded as posing an unacceptable risk of re-offending. After describing the nature and purpose of the supervision and detention regimes, the article critically examines the reporting provisions that were contained in the Serious Sex Offenders Monitoring Act 2005 (Vic), which fi rst introduced the notion of preventive supervision in Victoria, and compares them with the reporting provisions that are contained in the recently enacted Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009 (Vic). Particular regard is paid to the principle of open justice, which ordinarily entitles the media to publish information about judicial proceedings, including names. The article also identifi es several procedural hurdles which confront media organisations that wish to challenge suppression orders made under the scheme. Finally, the article makes some tentative observations about whether these publication regimes are compatible with Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities.