Murderers' super to be handed to victims, families under Coalition election plan

Opposition leader Matthew Guy  Photo: Paul Jeffers
Opposition leader Matthew Guy Photo: Paul Jeffers

Murderers and other violent offenders would have to hand over their superannuation to victims and their families under a new plan promised by the Victorian opposition.

Continuing on the Coalition's law and order campaign, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy on Tuesday morning announced, if elected at the November 2018 poll, his government would implement a suite of reforms to give victims more rights in the justice system.

Many of the dozens of proposed changes to boost victims' rights are recommended by a Law Reform Commission report released last August and commissioned by the Napthine government. The Andrews government has not responded to the report yet.

Mr Guy said victims would also have to be consulted by the prosecution before any deals are done with offenders.

The plan to seek access to superannuation would require the cooperation of the Commonwealth, and potentially other states. Mr Guy said brief talks had been held with Canberra.

The plan to access superannuation is not a recommendation of the Law Reform Commission, and Mr Guy said he would take further advice on who may qualify for the scheme.

Already the state's asset confiscation scheme includes beneficial entitlements, and the Opposition argues that there is no reason why superannuation entitlements should be treated differently.

"Victims deserve more say and influence and if I am premier that is exactly what they'll get," Mr Guy said.

"We need to ensure our justice system prioritises the rights of victims and makes the process as simple as possible because after enduring the horrific trauma and loss of a loved one, they deserve nothing less."

Other reforms that were recommended by the Commission and supported by the Liberals and Nationals includes changing court guidelines so that victims are acknowledged in court by their name rather than the "deceased."

The relationship between prosecution and victims would also be enshrined in law.

The commission calls for the better respect and courtesy of victims in the legal process with changes to the Evidence Act recommended to require a judicial officer to "disallow improper questioning in relation to all victims" bringing Victoria into line with NSW , Tasmania and the ACT.

Victims of crimes advocates welcomed the Opposition's election pledge.