Recommendations-Expert Panel on Terrorism Report 2

Recommendation 1

That the Victorian Government consider expanding locally designed and delivered programs where there is a demonstrable need for them, subject to the outcome of the evaluations of existing community programs.

Recommendation 2

That the Victorian Government support further research on:

  • the nature and extent of right- and left-wing extremist threats in Victoria, and how to counter them; and
  • Islamophobia in Victoria, its impact on Muslim Victorians, and how to counter it.

Recommendation 3

That the Victorian Government consider expanding capacity-building programs for frontline workers in the community to ensure that the risk of violent extremism is accurately identified, managed and, if necessary, referred to Victoria Police.

Recommendation 4

That the Victoria Police process for referring persons of interest to other agencies, departments and community organisations be formalised to ensure:

Recommendation 5

That the Victorian Government consider developing a formal, multiagency coordination panel to ensure effective coordination of interventions between Victoria Police and other bodies including the Department of Education and Training (DET) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

Recommendation 6

That information sharing barriers between Victoria Police and other bodies, including the DET and DHHS, are examined to ascertain the extent to which these barriers are cultural, operational and / or legal, and how best to address them.

This examination should promote shared, multi-agency objectives, in particular by:

Recommendation 7

That Victoria Police, DHHS, DET and any other members of the proposed multi-agency panel jointly develop a memorandum of understanding to clarify information sharing arrangements between members.

Recommendation 8

That a monitoring and evaluation framework be developed to assess the effectiveness of secondary and tertiary interventions.

Recommendation 9

(Priority enhancements in order to maximise the value of existing disengagement and early intervention programs)

Recommendation 10

That the delivery of disengagement programs to young persons (whether CISP or new programs):

Recommendation 11

That suitable new disengagement programs be developed and made available to adults and young people on bail or remand. This could include incorporation within existing court-based bail support programs.

Recommendation 12

That suitable new disengagement programs be developed to address other forms of violent extremism across the ideological spectrum, including right- and left-wing extremism (noting the existing program is currently tailored to respond to Islamist extremism).

Recommendation 13

That an expert advisory committee (with membership to include countering violent extremism (CVE) and clinical specialists) be established to provide technical advice to the Victorian Government on:

  • the need for cooperation and intervention by other agencies is identified by Victoria Police, in collaboration with partner agencies, as comprehensively as possible; and
  • all relevant agencies and expertise are included in this process so that referrals are well targeted and gaps in available services are identified.
  • enabling agencies to jointly develop a comprehensive understanding of individuals’ risk of violent extremism;
  • supporting appropriate interventions and services; and
  • allowing for appropriate management of operational risks to service providers, particularly risks to the safety of staff and to the safety of the broader community.
  • be formalised within the youth justice system, including court-ordered diversion, community-based orders, in prison and on parole; and
  • be reviewed and validated (including risk assessment tools and interventions) to ensure its suitability and efficacy for young persons.
  • best practice approaches to disengagement interventions and programs;
  • the efficacy of risk assessment tools;
  • the development of new disengagement interventions and programs; and
  • the ongoing evaluation and effectiveness of disengagement interventions and programs

Recommendation 16

That the Victorian Government seek national agreement to amend the Criminal Code Act 1995 (Cth) to:

Recommendation 17

That if national agreement in line with Recommendation 16 is not possible, the Victorian Government consider amending the Terrorism (Community Protection) Act 2003 (Vic) to create an offence of possessing ‘terrorism related material’ in that Act.

Recommendation 18

That the recommended modified preventative detention scheme (Recommendation 2 in Report 1) apply to persons who are 14 or 15 years of age.

Recommendation 19

That Victoria Police be empowered to take a person under the age of 18 (a minor) into custody for the purpose of preventing a terrorist act from occurring or to preserve evidence of, or relating to, a terrorist act for a maximum period of 36 hours.

Recommendation 20

That after taking a minor into custody, Victoria Police be required to apply for a preventative detention order from the Supreme Court in order to continue to detain the minor:

Recommendation 21

That in response to an application by Victoria Police for a preventative detention order in respect of a minor, the Supreme Court be empowered to make a preventative detention order permitting the continued detention of the minor for a maximum period of 14 days inclusive of any period during which the minor was detained by Victoria Police before the making of that order.

Recommendation 22

That the power to make a preventative detention order in respect of a minor only be available to the Supreme Court if it is satisfied:

  • introduce an offence of possessing ‘terrorism related material’; and
  • define ‘terrorism related material’ to mean material that provides instructions for the doing of a terrorist act.

Recommendation 23

That if the Supreme Court is satisfied that an order other than a preventative detention order would be a less restrictive means of preventing an imminent terrorist act occurring or preserving evidence of, or relating to, a recent terrorist act:

  • as soon as reasonably practicable; or
  • if it is not reasonably practicable to do so sooner, on the expiration of 36 hours from the time that the minor was first detained

Recommendation 24

That special safeguards apply if a minor is detained under a preventative detention scheme including:

  • that there are no other less restrictive means available to prevent an imminent terrorist act occurring or to preserve evidence of, or relating to, a recent terrorist act; and
  • that the particular requirements in relation to the preventative detention of a minor, including any conditions imposed on that detention by the court, can be met

Recommendation 25

That the Victorian Government seek national agreement for a post-sentence supervision scheme for high risk terrorist offenders who pose an unacceptable risk to the community if released without supervision. This could be by:

  • the court be empowered to make alternative orders and impose appropriate conditions in response to an application for a preventative detention order in respect of a minor; and
  • the court be required, in making such orders or imposing such conditions, to consider a range of specific matters with respect to the minor including the minor’s physical and mental health and vulnerability

Recommendation 26

That if national agreement in line with Recommendation 25 is not possible, the Victorian Government consider extending the existing scheme for the post-sentence supervision and detention of serious sex offenders to provide for the post-sentence supervision of high risk terrorist offenders.

  • conferring on the Supreme Court a power to make specific orders in relation to the conditions under which a minor may be held in preventative detention and a requirement for the applicant for a preventative detention order to satisfy the court that those conditions can be met;
  • incorporating into the scheme additional protections for minors, including requirements for minors to have their developmental needs catered for, that any questioning of a minor be recorded by audio-visual means and that a minor be legally represented; and
  • an active monitoring role by the Commission for Children and Young People in relation to any minor held in detention.
  • establishing a specific post-sentence supervision scheme that is complementary to the national post-sentence detention scheme; or
  • reforming the current Commonwealth control order laws so that those laws are complementary to the national post-sentence detention scheme.

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