Law Society Warns of levy on Criminals


The Law Society has today warned of the impact of the Government’s planned levy on Criminals who are convicted.  The levy, part of the Government’s “Making Criminals Pay” policy, will be imposed on those who are convicted in the Courts and the Courts will not have any discretion in imposing the levy.

The President  of the Law Society of Tasmania, Matthew Verney has said

The planned levy is basically a tax on those who find their way into the criminal justice system of Tasmania. It will affect those in the community who cannot afford it. It is not part of the sentencing process, does not form part of the punishment for offending that the Courts impose and is simply an introduction of a crude user pays approach to justice in Tasmania.

Mr Verney also said

It is important to not confuse this levy with the punishment of offenders. It will be a mandatory financial  imposition on people who are in many cases some of the poorest in our community. If they are unable to pay the levy, then it will trigger enforcement actions like drivers licence suspensions, asset seizures and mounting personal debt. It is another effort by the Government to remove the discretion of the Courts in the sentencing process.

This week is Anti-Poverty Week. The Law Society joins with those organisations in the Community Sector and other legal organisations who form a coalition of similar interests in urging the dumping of this levy.

Matthew Verney

0438 248 708

12 October 2015