Victoria Law Foundation is pleased to have once again hosted this year’s Legal Laneway Breakfast. This year around 550 members of the legal fraternity mingled in Hardware Lane to welcome the opening of the legal year.
It was a great opportunity to hear Victorian Attorney-General The Honourable Martin Pakula MP talk about recent legislative changes and what is planned for 2017.
The Attorney-General touched on a raft of initiatives including new legislation that better protects the rights of Victorians who die without a will, as well as upgrades to the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court and the Children’s Court to improve safety, particularly for victims of family violence.
He also reflected on the recent Bourke Street tragedy and how it was a trigger to undertake a review of the bail laws. “We have appointed Justice Paul Coghlan to provide the government with urgent advice on ways that we might reform the bail system to best manage risk and maximise community safety,” he said.
“We do have an obligation as a government to keep our community safe, and that means balancing important responsibilities of community safety within our justice system with the presumption of innocence, and that is why we have ensured that someone extraordinarily experienced and eminent undertakes that review, and provides good advice, rather than careening into what might be a knee jerk response,” he said.
He also touched on global events. “On behalf of the government of Victoria, I want to thank you for everything you do, not only for the community but also to help the preservation of law.
“And for those of us who have been watching international events, the rule of the law can sometimes have some reasonably precarious foundations, so we need to guard it and guard it very jealously.”