The VBA may issue charges against a person or body corporate for breaches of the Building Act 1993 (the Act) and the Domestic Building Contracts Act 1995 (DBCA). A VBA prosecution is a criminal proceeding that is heard in the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria, but may be heard in the County Court of Victoria depending on the offence(s) and circumstances.
The ability to issue criminal charges is an important regulatory tool for the VBA. Once an investigation of a breach of the Act and/or DBCA has been completed, we will consider the following in determining whether to proceed with criminal proceedings:
- Is there sufficient evidence and a reasonable prospect of conviction to warrant a prosecution?
- Is it in the public interest to commence or continue a prosecution?
For more information on how we decide on the most appropriate enforcement action, please see our Prosecution Policy (PDF, 571.41 KB) and Compliance and Enforcement Policy (PDF, 586.77 KB).
What to do if you receive a summons and charge sheet
In the initial phase of the VBA’s prosecution process, you will be served a summons and charge sheet, which will set out the alleged offence(s) you have committed. These documents also detail the court in which the matter will be heard, as well as the date and time of that hearing.
You will also be provided with a ‘Brief of evidence’, which contains all the documents and statements we will rely on during the prosecution process.
If you have been served a summons and charge sheet, we can only provide you with limited assistance and cannot provide you with legal advice.
Instead, we encourage you to obtain independent legal advice. For more information and to find a lawyer, visit the Law Institute of Victoria website.