The Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) is established as a statutory authority under section 64 of the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine Act 1985 which sets out VIFM’s objects, powers and functions. The VIFM is subject to a number of other Acts, including but not limited to, the Coroners Act 2008, Human Tissue Act 1982, the Public Administration Act 2004 and the Financial Management Act 1994.
The decision to establish the VIFM as a statutory authority with its own board of management (the VIFM Council) was one of the recommendations of the Coroners Court Review Committee of the late 1970s. The statutory model was intended to improve the Victorian coronial system and to ensure the provision of high quality forensic pathology services and reliable forensic evidence for coroners and the courts. The model also created a centre of medical and training excellence to raise the standard of forensic medicine in Victoria and Australia wide.
The VIFM’s status as a statutory authority provides institutional independence and underpins VIFM’s role in the provision of expert forensic evidence to the Victorian courts.