Richard Pusey taken into custody by Melbourne police in 2020 (Image: AAP/Michael Dodge)

Victoria’s proposed “Pusey law”, introducing an offence of engaging in grossly offensive conduct in public, is another reactionary and “knee-jerk” criminal justice reform by the state government, civil and legal rights groups have warned.

The bill, which was debated and passed in the Victorian lower house on Thursday with bipartisan support, is in response to the conduct of Richard Pusey, who recorded the dying moments of police officers following the Eastern Freeway truck crash in early 2020.

Pusey was sentenced to 10 months’ imprisonment for, among other things, “outraging public decency”, an offence that has only been used six times and hasn’t been used in decades.