Taking Civil Action

Civil Litigation Against the Police

When complaint systems are inadequate sometimes the only means to get justice is to take civil litigation against the police. Under international law, people who are abused by the police have the right to compensation.

If your rights have been violated by the police, you should contact your local legal centre.

People in Victoria generally have to file a Statement of Claim with a Court within 3 years of the incident.

If you would like to talk to a lawyer, you can contact Inner Melbourne Community Legal’s Police Accountability Project to explore your options.

Below are some articles and studies relevant to civil litigation against the police.


Civil Litigation as a Police Accountability Mechanism (IMCL)

Civil Litigation Against the Police (Tim Prenzler et al)

Civil Litigation in Australia (Jude McCulloch & Darren Palmer)


Case Law

Bannerman v State of Victoria 1 October 2009

TORTS – Damages – Assault – Plaintiff sprayed with capsicum spray outside hotel– Self defence – Whether reasonable grounds for belief that necessary to use spray in self defence – Liability of State – False Imprisonment – Malicious prosecution – Police Regulation Act 1958 s 123 – Summary Offences Act 1966 s 13, s 52.

Myer Stores Ltd v Soo     [1991] 2 VR 59