The Justice and Human Research Ethics Committee (JHREC) is convened by the Secretary of the Department of Justice and Community Safety. The JHREC's function is to conduct ethical reviews of research and evaluations and to protect the welfare and rights of participants in research. In doing this, the JHREC ensures that research proposals conform to the principles and requirements of the National Health and Medical Research Council's National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (2023)

Please note:

The National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research 2018 was amended by the National Health and Medical Research Council in July 2023 and becomes effective on 1 January 2024.

Please note that applications submitted after 1 January 2024 must comply with the updated (2023) version of the National Statement (External link), available via the NHMRC website.

An application for ethics approval must be made to the JHREC for all research and evaluation conducted by or for the department (including agencies and auspices) when it involves more than a low level risk for: 

  • people for whom the department is responsible
  • people associated with or affected by the activities of the department.

This also includes the use of or access to information relating to any of the above groups.

Low risk is defined by the National Statement as "where the only foreseeable risk is one of discomfort. Where the risk, even if unlikely, is more serious than discomfort, the research is not low risk".

In addition, research involving the following groups will always require ethics consideration, irrespective of the level of risk, because of concerns regarding its sensitivity or vulnerability:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples
  • people who may be involved in illegal activities
  • people with a cognitive impairment, an intellectual disability or a mental illness.

How to apply

Applicants wishing to register an application for review may do so by completing the JHREC Application Form and submitting it in PDF format to (External link)

For more information on how to complete an application form, refer to the JHREC application guidelines below.

For any questions regarding an application, or if you require an alternative version of documents for accessibility reasons, please contact the JHREC secretariat on phone 03 9136 2100 or email (External link)

If your research requires access to the National Coronial Information System database, in the first instance please contact (External link) for assistance.

If your research involves gathering information related to Corrections Victoria, in the first instance please contact (External link) for assistance.  

Note: Submission closing dates outlined below are strictly applied.

JHREC meetings


Meeting number Submissions close Meeting date
1 8 December (2023) 1 February
2 9 February 21 March
3 25 March 9 May
4 13 May 20 June
5 24 June 1 August
6 5 August 12 September
7 16 September 24 October
8 28 October 5 December


Current members

  • Dr Jennifer Fitzgerald AM - Chair
  • Vacant - Departmental representative
  • David de Vaus - Researcher member
  • Ms Marian Pettit - Lay member
  • Vacant - Pastoral care member
  • Professor Michelle Foster - Lawyer member
  • Vacant - Professional care member
  • Michael Kingston - Lawyer member
  • Professor Stuart Kinner - Research member
  • Dr Ros Lethbridge - Lay member
  • Ms Julie Binstead - Pastoral care member
  • Dr David Curnow - Professional care member
  • Dr Vamsi Madasu - Lay member
  • Mr Ross Kristinof - Lay member

Vacancies in all membership categories arise from time to time. The department welcomes expressions of interest for appointment for all membership categories. These categories are:

  • Lay member
  • Research member
  • Lawyer member
  • Pastoral care member
  • Professional care member
  • Aboriginal representative member.

Reporting to JHREC (for approved projects)

An Amendment Request Form needs to be completed when any alterations are made to the project such as staff changes and changes to the methodology or research instruments. If a department letter of support was attached to your application, the business areas concerned need to be informed of the amendment prior to submission to JHREC.

Annual Report Forms are to be submitted every 12 months for projects which extend beyond 12 months in duration.

Completion Forms must be submitted on the conclusion of the research phase. A copy of the research findings are also required on finalisation of the project. 

Note: long term or ongoing projects are required to submit a completion form at the end of each five-year period and renewed by submitting a new application.

Privacy legislation 

Researchers must ensure their proposal conforms to all relevant privacy legislation, including the Privacy Act 1988 (Commonwealth), the Privacy and Data Protection Act 2014 (External link) and the Health Records Act 2001 (External link). Researchers are responsible for providing sufficient information in their application to enable JHREC to determine whether the research represents any breach of the various privacy principles and, if so, whether the public interest in the research substantially outweighs the public interest in respecting privacy. For more information refer to Information privacy policy

National Health and Medical Research Council 

The National Health and Medical Research Council Act 1992 requires that all research "involving or impacting on humans" conforms to the National Statement on Ethical Conduct in Human Research (External link)

Research must also comply with the Australian Code for the Responsible Conduct of Research (External link) which replaced the joint Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) and Australian Vice Chancellors' Committee (AVCC) Statement and Guidelines on Research Practice (1997).

Making a complaint 

Any complaint about the JHREC’s review of an application can be forwarded to the Senior Manager, Compliance and Secretariat Services within the Department of Justice and Community Safety:

Senior Manager, Compliance and Secretariat Services
7/121 Exhibition Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

The nature of the complaint should be clearly outlined, and any additional information supporting the complaint should also be provided. The Senior Manager, Compliance and Secretariat Services will provide advice to the complainant on any action to be taken.

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