Serious violent offences scheme review

We are reviewing the serious violent offences (SVO) scheme in the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 in response to Terms of Reference issued to us in early April 2021, by the Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, the Honourable Shannon Fentiman MP.

We are to report on our findings and recommendations by 13 May 2022.

Terms of Reference

Read or download the Terms of Reference which describe the scope for our review.

Issues Paper

Read or download the Issues Paper (PDF, 3.2 MB) which has been prepared to gather and present information about the serious violent offences scheme to assist stakeholders and community members to provide their views to the Council on the scheme and options for reform.


Submissions and comments received for the review of the serious violent offences (SVO) scheme.

Submissions listed as ‘not published’ have been withheld from publication for privacy or legal reasons.

What is the SVO scheme?

The SVO scheme was introduced in 1997 to respond to concerns about community safety and serious violent crime.

Learn more about the SVO scheme by reading our fact sheet (PDF, 617.4 KB).

Background papers

Our series of background papers provide detailed information about the SVO scheme. The papers support the Issues Paper, due for release later this year. They include information about the history of the scheme, key legal principles and data on the application of the scheme, including sentencing outcomes.

Other reports

These reports have been prepared as part of this review.

Any views expressed in these reports are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Council.

The effectiveness of minimum non-parole period schemes for serious violent, sexual and drug offenders and evidence-based approaches to community protection, deterrence, and rehabilitation

This literature review (PDF, 573.1 KB) was produced by the University of Melbourne. It draws on over 10 years of available research to review the effectiveness of the SVO and similar schemes.

Technical report: Scoping review methodology and results of the report on the effectiveness of minimum non-parole period schemes

This technical report (PDF, 2.1 MB) was produced by the University of Melbourne to support the literature review. It describes the methodology used to identify relevant sources to understand the effectiveness of the SVO and similar schemes, and provides summaries of all the research included in the literature review.