Reform of body-worn camera laws in Victoria is welcome

21st Dec 2021

Plans to reform the legislation to allow courts to access video footage from body-worn cameras during civil proceedings in Victoria is welcome, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA).

“We are pleased to hear that an amendment to the Surveillance Devices Act 1999 will be made to clarify that body-worn camera footage obtained from police, ambulance and prison officers may be used in all civil proceedings,” said Mr Jeremy King, spokesperson, ALA. 

“We welcome the change, and look forward to reviewing the detail of the legislation and working through the practical implications.

“Body-worn police camera footage often contains critical evidence that is needed in civil litigation matters to allow the courts to make decisions and determine damages. Previously the courts were being denied access to critical evidence in civil cases and there was the potential for a grave miscarriage of justice.

“The disclosure of body-worn camera footage in civil matters will lead to better and fairer legal outcomes. It is in the interests of everyone in the community that we unlock this footage so it can be used in the way it was intended.

“The decision will impact a wide range of civil cases from traffic accident claims to issues of police behaviour and other abuses of power.”

Tags: Victoria police accountability