Children need community and connection, not electronic monitoring.

The Victorian Government announced today that they will not be will no longer be removing the reverse onus bail test for children and will be trialing electronic monitoring for children as young as 14 as part of their bail conditions. See the Victorian Government’s media release here.

Youthlaw is deeply disappointed in the Victorian Government’s decision to backtrack on its commitment to remove the reverse onus bail test for all children, which was implemented after the 2017 Bourke Street mall tragedies. This bail law resulted in an unprecedented increase in children being remanded and exposed to the criminal justice system. The presumption on bail is a crucial and fundamental right in any legal system. By pandering to misinformed media and misguided public opinion and commentary on youth crime, we are further harming already highly vulnerable children.

The use of monitoring devices for 14-year-olds not only shaming and stigmatising, but also damaging and ineffective.

Ariel Couchman

CEO of Youthlaw