Domestic and family violence reform
Strengthening justice system responses
There is no place for domestic and family violence (DFV) in Queensland, and we are taking action to strengthen legislation, police and justice responses to ensure the system deals effectively with domestic and family violence.
New laws have been introduced in each state and territory to improve the protection of domestic and family violence victims. DVOs made from 25 November 2017 can be enforced across all states and territories in Australia.
We have taken swift action to amend Queensland law to ensure we have a strong, contemporary legislative framework that puts the safety and security of victims first, sends a clear message to perpetrators that violence is not tolerated, and supports the broader systemic reforms underway.
A specialist domestic and family violence (DFV) court is located in Southport, dealing exclusively with all civil and criminal DFV matters.
Beenleigh, Townsville, Mount Isa and Palm Island will also see specialist DFV court approaches established over 2017 to 2020.
Legal and court services and systems are being reformed to ensure people impacted by domestic and family violence have access to responsive advice and are supported to participate in court processes.
The Domestic and Family Violence Death Review Board was established to review domestic and family violence related deaths and recommend system and practice improvements to prevent future fatalities.
We have expanded the domestic violence duty lawyer service to 14 locations across the state through Legal Aid Queensland, and are supporting staff to ensure they are equipped to appropriately refer clients to other legal and support services.
We have developed a series of short videos to support victims and perpetrators to better understand and participate in domestic and family violence court processes.
We are simplifying the Domestic Violence Order application process to make it easier and faster for those affected by domestic and family violence to seek protection, including electing whether interpreter services are required.
Another new online ‘smart’ form guides the applicant through the process of applying to change a domestic violence order in an intuitive, personal way. It can be completed on any device and combines three forms and an information guide, into one user friendly online tool with help text and definitions of legal terms.
Released by the Chief Magistrate, the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 Bench Book and Best Practice Report, outlines the relevant law and suggested procedure for judicial officers.
New streamlined systems and practices for engaging interpreters will better support applicants and respondents from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds to participate in civil domestic and family violence court proceedings.
Strengthening community justice groups in discrete communities
Enhancing community justice groups’ ability to respond to domestic and family violence by partnering with the community to design and develop culturally appropriate support services.
Professional development for magistrates
A domestic and family violence professional development program for magistrates, improving the courts response to domestic and family violence. This will be achieved through ongoing professional development of judicial officers.
Support for people involved in domestic and family violence court proceedings
New court support workers and liaison officers, along with compulsory training of all court and registry staff, are strengthening support for applicants and respondents in domestic and family violence matters in all Magistrates courts.