Law groups slam Vic emergency bash laws

Kaitlyn Offer
Victorian law groups have criticised the state government's response to emergency worker assaults

Law groups have attacked the Victorian government's plan to force jail on those who bash emergency workers, even if they are mentally impaired.

The Andrews Labor government wants to make assaults on police, paramedics, firefighters, or emergency department medicos a category one offences - the same as murder and rape.

It will also get rid of substance impairment and psychosocial immaturity as special reasons to be exempt from mandatory jail time and life circumstances of offenders, including traumatic childhoods, will have less mitigating weight in court.

But the Law Institute of Victoria's president Belinda Wilson and Sentencing Advisory Council chair Arie Freiberg say it is unreasonable to not consider an offender's mental state when sentencing them.

"The reason that emergency services are there is because people are in a highly distressed, injured or inebriated state and they're not making decisions on the basis of what the law says, it's just nonsensical," Prof Freiberg said.

Ms Wilson has sought an urgent meeting with the government to discuss the changes.