Law reform case study: Medically supervised injecting centres

The Richmond MSIC. Image: AAP
The Richmond MSIC. Image: AAP

Explore the passage of the Pilot Medically Supervised Injecting Centre Bill 2017. A new resource for VCE Legal Studies teachers and students.

Open the online e-book


This law reform case study guides teachers and students through the committee inquiry and legislative process that led to the establishment of a Medically supervised injecting centre (MSIC) in Richmond.

Beginning with an overview of the the law reform process and the background of MSICs, it provides specific details from the 2017 inquiry, including excerpts from public submissions and committee hearings.

The resource also describes the passage of the bill through both houses of parliament, with excerpts from second reading debates. These excerpts, along with examples of media and social media commentary, offer a balanced representation of the different views that were expressed at the time.

  • Connections to the classroom and curriculum

    Using the committee inquiry into the 'Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Pilot Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) Bill 2017' as a case study, students will consider the reasons for and parliament's role—including the role of the houses—in law reform. Students will also explore the representative nature of parliament, the political pressures on law reform and the restrictions on the law-making powers of parliament.

    VCE Legal Studies: Unit 4, Area of Study 2

    The resource can be used to address the key knowledge and skills for VCE Legal Studies: Unit 4, Area of Study 2, supporting students to explore and evaluate how parliament makes laws, the committee inquiry process, and the influence of organisations, individuals and media over the process of law reform. 

    Years 7 to 10

    As well as a preparation activity for VCE Legal Studies, this resource can also be used to develop student understanding of Victorian Curriculum: Civics and citizenship from Years 7 to 10.

    Exploring the process of passing a law will help students develop an understanding of “the role of the Houses of Parliament, and the division of powers” (VCCCG018) and explain and evaluate how “citizens can participate in Australia’s democracy, including the… use of lobby groups, interest groups and direct action” (VCCCG020). Exploring the committee process will facilitate students’ understanding and analysis of “the process through which government policy is shaped and developed” (VCCCG038), “contemporary examples and issues relating to Australian democracy” (VCCCC035), and “how and why groups participate in civic life” (VCCCC037).

  • The following video series is made available as part of this resource. It provides an opportunity to hear first-hand accounts from some of the key people involved in the committee inquiry and the passage of the bill through parliament, including members of parliament, local government and the community.




  • This case study is made available as an online e-book, but it can also be downloaded in PDF format (4.6 mb)

  • VCE_LawReformCaseStudy_MSIC_Sample-1_Page_01.jpg