Good result for Horvath but more needed to secure justice

23rd Sep 2014

An apology and ex-gratia payment to police assault victim Corinna Horvath is a welcome development but much more needs to be done by the Victorian Government to prevent similar situations happening again, the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA) said today.

ALA Victoria President Emily Anderson congratulated Ms Horvath on the outcome of the case, saying it was an important milestone in holding law enforcement agencies accountable for their actions.

“The apology is great news for Corinna Horvath, and hopefully will allow her to move on with her life after this 18-year ordeal,” Ms Anderson said.

“Her legal team, led by the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre, should be especially commended for its sterling work in this matter.”

However, Ms Anderson said that while Ms Horvath’s case had been concluded satisfactorily, the wider legal issues behind her situation still existed. She said it was extremely concerning that the Victorian Government had not acted to address the systemic issues limiting payment of compensation to victims of police brutality in Victoria.

Ms Anderson called on the Victorian Government to review the Victoria Police Act 2013 (Vic) and the Independent Broad-Based Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2011 (Vic) immediately.

“The Victorian Government must ensure that people have an effective remedy when they have been unlawfully injured by police,” Ms Anderson said.

“Furthermore, the community cannot expect to see justice carried out while allegations of police brutality are investigated by fellow officers. These investigations should be carried out by an independent agency.”

“These types of police incidents are still occurring, and it’s only a matter of time before a situation similar to the one experienced by Ms Horvath happens again. It should not take 18 years and the involvement of the UN Human Rights Committee before a Victorian is granted justice,” Ms Anderson said.

Tags: Compensation Victoria Access to justice police powers