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United Nations says police should pay compensation for bashing Victorian woman

In 1991 the County Court held that $315,000 compensation should be paid by Victoria Police to a woman who was bashed unconscious by four police officers in her home.

In 1991 the County Court held that $315,000 compensation should be paid by Victoria Police to a woman who was bashed unconscious by four police officers who forced their way into her home without a warrant over a traffic infringement. This finding was overturned on Appeal by the Supreme Court, who found that the state government was not responsible for the officers who acted outside reasonable procedures. The High Court refused to hear an appeal.

In 2008 the victim's lawyers issued an individual communication to the United Nations Human Rights Committee, arguing that the state government had violated her rights in a number of articles of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. The UN handed down its decision on 2 May, almost twenty years after the incident, saying:

  • the state party is obliged to provide an effective remedy, including adequate compensation
  • that the state should be held vicariously liable for police misconduct and should amend its laws to that effect
  • Victoria police should re-open their investigation of the officers involved in the attack
  • an independent body should handle allegations of misconduct publicly in future.

The state government is considering the decision.

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Updated