Family violence and Commonwealth laws - improving legal frameworks: final report

8 Feb 2012

This report contains 102 recommendations for law reform to address family violence.

The recommendations are intended to ensure:

  • consistency in understanding and application of the law as a result of the adoption of a common definition of family violence;
  • appropriate education and training for decision makers leading to greater consistency and fairness in decision-making of family violence claims;
  • better identification of, and responses to, the disclosure of family violence, including in service delivery areas;
  • a greater sense of self-agency for those experiencing family violence by being provided information about family violence responses, and being able to act with confidence that such responses will be attentive to their needs; and
  • that ultimately, the safety—physical, economic and financial—of people experiencing family violence will be improved.”

The recommendations in this report are underpinned by seven principles: seamlessness; fairness; accessibility; effectiveness; self-agency or autonomy; privacy; and system integrity. One of the key recommendations is that the same understanding of family violence should be used across relevant Commonwealth laws, promoting seamlessness and effectiveness in legal and other proceedings involving family violence for both victims and decision makers. Importantly, it should also enhance consistency in the treatment of family violence across the legislative frameworks, reinforced by appropriate and regular training.

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