Australia mulling handing murderers’ pensions to victims

Canberra, Jan 10 (IANS) The Australian government on Tuesday said it was considering a proposal under which murderers and other criminals would be compelled to give their superannuation pension to the families of the victims.

Superannuation in Australia is money earned during a person’s working life that can only be accessed in retirement, the BBC reported.

The move would give victims more rights in the justice system, said Victoria state’s opposition leader Matthew Guy.

Guy said he would take the policy to the state’s next election in November 2018. If legislated, it would be an Australian first.

“When someone commits a murder, particularly in horrendous circumstances — takes the life of another individual — they forfeit their right to be treated like the rest of us,” he said.

The announcement comes after the Victorian Law Reform Commission, a government-funded advisory body, tabled a report in November on ‘The Role of Victims of Crime in the Criminal Trial Process’.

The report made 51 recommendations, which did not include handing criminals’ superannuation to the families of victims.

Victoria’s Labour government, led by Premier Daniel Andrews, is still considering its response to the report, but Guy said his party supported most of the recommendations.