Victim Offender Mediation

As part of the sentencing process in the District Court, the Court may order the preparation of a mediation report (VMR), being a report about a mediation or attempted mediation between an offender and a victim.   This report is ordered pursuant to Sentencing Act 1995 (WA) Part 3 Div 5.  Victim offender mediations are conducted by the Victim Offender Mediation Unit (VMU), part of the Department of Corrective Services (DCS).  

An information brochure for lawyers on victim offender mediation is at this link.

Requesting a mediation report in a Perth matter

Prior to requesting the Court to order a mediation report, a lawyer acting for an offender should contact the VMU and discuss whether the offence is a suitable one to be the subject of a victim offender mediation.  

The VMU will have an officer at the District Court between 8:30am and 10:30am each Friday while the Sentence Mention Hearings are being conducted.  The VMU officer will be available to assist practitioners to determine whether or not a particular matter would be suitable for victim offender mediation.   If it is, the presiding Commissioner can order the preparation of a mediation report and list the sentencing hearing for a time when the report will have been prepared. 

The usual orders will permit counsel for the prosecution and the offender to be provided with a copy of the report as soon as it is provided to the Court, on the same basis as a pre-sentence report.

Requesting a mediation report in a circuit location

Prior to requesting the Court to order a mediation report, a lawyer acting for an offender should contact the VMU and discuss whether the offence is a suitable one to be the subject of a victim offender mediation.  

If on a committal for sentence the Magistrate does not order the preparation of a VMR, the parties may seek an order for a VMR from the District Court.  This should be done by way of consent order.  The usual orders sought would be:

  1. A mediation report be prepared pursuant to Sentencing Act 1995 (WA) s27.
  2. The sentencing hearing listed for [date] be vacated and the sentencing hearing relisted to the next available date after [7 weeks from the date of the consent order].
  3. [If required] The accused’s bail be varied by the insertion of the following condition at the end of the bail conditions: “As an exception to the conditions set out above, the accused may have contact with [complainant’s name] at the direction of officers of the Victim Offender Mediation Unit.
  4. [If required] The bail variation in paragraph 3 only takes effect once the accused has signed amended bail papers.

The report should be ordered as soon as practicable after the accused has been committed for sentence.  Counsel for the accused should liaise with VMU staff at the relevant location to confirm that the offences are suitable for victim offender mediation prior to submitting the consent order to the prosecutor for signature.

Types of offences suitable and unsuitable for victim offender mediation

As a general rule drug offences, and offences of a sexual nature are not suitable for victim offender mediation.

The types of offences which tend to be suitable for victim offender mediation include:

Offences which proceed to trial do not tend to be suitable for victim offender mediation.

Release of mediation reports

The release of a mediation report by the Court to the prosecutor to the offender is subject to the same restrictions on use and confidentiality as a pre-sentence report.  These obligations are contained in Practice Direction CRIM 3 of 2008, Sentencing Part 8.  The conditions include that:  The report is only to be used for the purpose of the sentencing.

The VMU has offices in Albany, Broome, Kalgoorlie, Bunbury, Kununurra, Busselton, South Hedland and Geraldton.  For contact details, click here .

Last updated: 11-Jul-2014

[ back to top ]