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A Victorian Act of Evil — Most likely unconstitutional! — Most likely to be passed in Parliament

Sunday, November 17, 2019

The Victorian government is pushing through Parliament a new Workplace Manslaughter Bill. It has passed the Lower House and is to be considered in the Upper House within two weeks. It is likely to pass.

I explain in a short YouTube clip why this Victorian Manslaughter law can be accurately described as an Act of Evil. Watch my explanation here.

The Bill is evil because it holds that a collective of persons, a corporation, can be guilty of a criminal act. This defiles all notions of criminal justice in a civilised society. Individuals commit criminal acts, not collectives. That is, the Victorian government is deconstructing a core foundation of civilised societies.

The Bill will hold officers in the corporation liable for the ‘criminal act’ of a corporation. But, get this: individuals in partnerships and self-employed people can be prosecuted under the Bill, but not employees. This is an Act of ‘criminal’ double standards. See the Explanatory Memorandum to the Bill here.

If the Victorian government were genuine in its contorted attitude to creating a new form of selective criminality, the Bill should hold the Victorian Cabinet criminally liable if a public-sector employee dies at work. There’s a question they need to answer!

The Bill is such an evil contortion of criminal justice principles that it’s highly predictable that blameless people will be prosecuted. It is almost inevitable that it will replicate the harm that occurred under the now-repealed NSW 2000 OHS Act.

That NSW Act contained similar contortions of criminal principles as those present in this 2019 Victorian Bill. Totally blameless people were prosecuted and convicted under those evil NSW laws. And it was mainly small business people that were hit. Ultimately, the NSW Act was effectively declared unconstitutional by the High Court in the Kirk Case.

We predict that this Bill, if passed, will cause similar nasty miscarriages of justice as occurred in NSW. Blameless people will be prosecuted because that’s what this Victorian Bill is designed to do. And it will take years before it is tested in the High Court.

The justice principle is this. A civilised society is defiled when a government defines one set of persons capable of criminality but says another set of persons are immune from such criminality. Where does this evil illogic stop? Are we to declare that gays, Jews, Muslims or people with pink hair can commit a crime but other people cannot? This truly is an Act of Evil!



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