What is Police Misconduct?

Misconduct is when a police officer acts outside of their powers or breaks the law.

If you’ve been a victim of police misconduct, you may be able to pursue recourse through a civil claim.

The following lists some common causes of action, and some examples of the misconduct claims that can be pursued:

Assault

  • Excessive use of OC spray (commonly referred to as “pepper spray” or “capsicum spray”)
  • Physical assault (hitting, kicking, pushing etc.)
  • Pointing of a gun
  • Spitting
  • Threat to harm

False imprisonment

  • Detention under circumstances that seem unlawful.
  • Custody when unnecessary; can be restrained in handcuffs or deprived of liberty.

Malicious prosecution

  • Charges must have resolved in the individual’s favour.
  • Charges struck out by Magistrate at the Committal stage.

Misfeasance in public office

  • Circumstances where police have intentionally engaged in an invalid or unauthorised act against an individual in the course of their duties.

Negligence

  • Where the person has suffered harm, or death, in police custody. (Read more about Coronial Inquests)

Outside of these circumstances we recommend contacting us for further advice.

FACT SHEET – Freedom of Information Applications to Victoria Police

A Freedom of Information (F0I) application is a request made pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act 1982, which gives people with a right of access to documents held by Australian Government ministers and most agencies.

FACT SHEET – Complaints Against Police

If you have been the subject of police misconduct, making a complaint may be the most appropriate course of action in your circumstances.

If you have suffered injury as a result of police misconduct, you may have a compensable claim through civil litigation. These claims involve suing the State of Victoria for compensation. Our team is specialised in these litigations, and we work with claimants to make sure their interests and rights are best represented.

We work with families and other interested parties on cases where a person has died in police or corrections custody, deaths whilst incarcerated in prison, and deaths where police officers have attempted to take a person into custody.

If you have suffered injury as a result of police misconduct, you may have a compensable claim through civil litigation. These claims involve suing the State of Victoria for compensation. Our team is specialised in these litigations, and we work with claimants to make sure their interests and rights are best represented.

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Jeremy King

Jeremy is a Principal Lawyer and lead of the police misconduct team. He practices in the area of police torts and and has been extensively involved in advocacy for reform of police oversight. Jeremy is regularly featured in the media for comment on police misconduct cases.

Danielle Meyer

Danielle is a Principal Lawyer and head of the personal injury team. Danielle has experience in police misconduct matters like assault and battery, false imprisonments, malicious prosecutions and misfeasance cases.

Yusur Al-Azzawi

Yusur is an active member of the Police Accountability Network. Prior to joining Robinson Gill, Yusur volunteered at the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre’s Police Accountability Clinic in 2015, helping the community with their complaints against police, and has since been litigating against police and prisons.

Ali Besiroglu

Ali represents families and interested parties with coronial inquiries, and has significant court advocacy experience. With a background in criminal law, he helps the team analyse and evaluate all the developments of criminal cases prior to civil proceedings.

Nick Boag

Nick graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the Australian National University (ANU) in 2008 and also holds a Masters of Law from ANU and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne. Nick first joined Robinson Gill in 2013 before working at the Police Accountability Project at the Flemington & Kensington Community Legal Centre and then as a Judge’s Associate at the County Court of Victoria. Nick rejoined Robinson Gill in 2018 and specialises in Police Misconduct and other personal injury matters. Nick is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Administrative Law & Human Rights Committee.

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Opening the door on police’s duty of care

This article, 'Opening the door on police's duty of care', by Yusur Al-Azzawi, first appeared in Precedent, the journal of the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA), issue 153, July/August 2019, pp22-6. It has been reproduced with the kind permission of both the author and the ALA.

Victoria Police Are Under Pressure Following A Botched Raid [10 daily]

A case of mistaken identity has left an innocent man with a severely broken arm.

Victim of mistaken arrest undergoes surgery as lawyers called in

The victim of a bungled police operation above a Fitzroy bookshop on the weekend is expected to launch legal action after what's believed to be a case of mistaken identity left the man with serious injuries.

Man hospitalised after police operation at wrong Fitzroy property [The Age]

The victim of a bungled police operation above a Fitzroy bookshop on the weekend is expected to launch legal action after what's believed to be a case of mistaken identity left the man with serious injuries.