Victoria To Change Position on Accused Privacy

According to news released today, Victorian Police will no longer name people charged with crimes who appear before bail justices.

The change will affect the information released to media after out-of-hours court sessions, and has been criticised by the state Opposition and Victims of Crime Commissioner Greg Davies.

But the Law Institute of Victoria has welcomed the change, after complaining about the policy in September.

Director of the media and corporate affairs department at Victoria Police, Merita ­Tabain, said police had sought legal advice after the ­com­plaint. In a letter to media outlets, Ms Tabain said Victoria Police would reverse its position on releasing the names of accused people.

“I am of the view that this change of practice will ­ade­quately balance the principle of open justice with any rights an accused person may have under the Open Courts Act 2013 such as seeking a suppression order,” she said.

For more, see here.

New PM

With the leadership spill having just gone down in Canberra, it’s time to face reality, immediate and urgent dissolution of the government and an election straight away. The government is in plane disarray and it is an appropriate time for a democratic process (as opposed to an party-internal process) to take place.

From news.com.au:

KEVIN Rudd has become Australia’s new Prime Minister after winning the Labor leadership ballot, three years after he lost it to Julia Gillard.

He won the ballot 57- 45 votes and it is understood he will call an August election.

Treasurer and Deputy Leader Wayne Swan quit and Anthony Albanese was elected in his place.

Craig Emerson, Joe Ludwig and Communications Minister Stephen Conroy have quit. Penny Wong has been elected as the new Labor leader in the Senate, a position previously held by Mr Conroy with Jacinta Collins as deputy. Dr Emerson also said he will not contest the next election.

Climate Change Minister Greg Combet has resigned.

Returning Officer Chris Hayes said the meeting was quite sombre but people were glad the issue was resolved.

The Governor-General is tonight seeking high-level advice before confirming Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister for the second time.

News Limited has learned that Quentin Bryce was waiting to meet with the Acting Solicitor-General to discuss the constitutional impact of the leadership change before agreeing to commission Mr Rudd.

It is understood Ms Gillard is scheduled to travel the short distance to Government House to resign her office at prime minister.

But Ms Bryce will examine the resignation letter before seeking legal advice. Once satisfied she is expected to invite Mr Rudd to form government.

Earlier Mr Rudd defended challenging Ms Gillard after days of rumours and speculation.

“For the nation’s sake it is time for this matter to be resolved,” he said.

“We are on course for a catastrophic defeat unless there is change,” he added.

He said the truth was “many, many MPs” had requested him to return to the leadership, including ministers.

It comes after Prime Minister Julia Gillard called the ballot after a day of drama that saw two independents announce they wouldn’t contest the 2013 election and Bob Katter swung his support behind Kevin Rudd.

“All of these issues need to be resolved tonight,” Ms Gillard said.

“We cannot have the Government or the Labor Party go to the next election with a person leading the Labor Party and a person floating around as the potential alternate leader.”

That was why the loser must retire, she said.