Evaluation of the Fast Tracking Initiative in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria

Evaluation of the Fast Tracking Initiative in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria
Investigators: Associate Professor Silke Meyer, Dr Tess Bartlett, Professor Jude McCulloch, Professor JaneMaree Maher, Dr Zarina Vakhitova, Professor Kerry O'Brien, Dr Kate Fitz-Gibbon, Dr Jasmine McGowan
Project contacts: Associate Professor Silke Meyer

The MGFVPC has been contracted by the Magistrates' Court of Victoria (MCV) to conduct an evaluation of the Fast Tracking Initiative in the MCV. Since December 2014 the MCV has been implementing a fast tracking initiative across multiple court locations. The aim of the fast tracking initiative was to have all criminal proceedings arising out of family violence incidents finalised within 16 weeks of entering the Court. This MGFVPC research project will evaluate this new program is effective in relation to increasing victim/survivor confidence, participation and safety. The evaluation will identify opportunities for improvement, including increased efficiencies, that could be realised if amendments were made to the existing fast tracking initative approach. The evaluation has the potential to contribute to improved outcomes for victim/survivors and increased perpetrator accountability.

Background

The Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence (RCFV) noted that the fast tracking initiative was showing great potential to limit delays between the occurrence and final determination of a criminal offence. The Commission recommended that the fast tracking initiative be evaluated as soon as possible and, pending any serious difficulties identified by that evaluation, that expansion to suitable sites be considered.