Australian Law Reform Commission Consultation Paper on Family Violence Reform
The inquiry will look at:
- the interaction in practice of State and Territory family/domestic violence and child protection laws with the Family Law Act and relevant Commonwealth, State and Territory criminal laws; and
- the impact of inconsistent interpretation or application of laws in cases of sexual assault occuring in a family/domestic violence context, including rules of evidence, on victims of such violence
From the press release:
"ALRC President, Professor Rosalind Croucher said that over 60 individuals and organisations from around Australia working in the areas of family violence, sexual assault and child protection had already been consulted to inform the thinking behind the Consultation Paper."
" 'This Inquiry will be one of the largest and most significant in the ALRC’s recent history. The Inquiry’s Terms of Reference have asked the Commissions to focus on laws and legal processes and to consider what improvements could be made to protect women and children from family violence. Building on the work of the Family Law Council, Professor Richard Chisholm and the Australian Institute of Family Studies Evaluation of the 2006 family law reforms, this Inquiry looks at the interrelationship in practice of at least nine sets of criminal laws, eight sets of child protection laws, eight sets of family violence laws and the Family Law Act, as well as evidence laws, sentencing laws and a range of other legal processes'. "
"Commissioner Professor Hilary Astor from the NSWLRC stated, 'Families in crisis often have intersecting problems involving family violence, sexual assault and child protection matters. They are presently faced with a complex maze of courts, legal processes and services which often don’t relate well to each other. At the moment, it is far too easy for people to fall through the cracks, for them to leave the process disillusioned, or for outcomes not to deliver maximum safety for families in crisis. The Consultation Paper asks people to respond to questions and proposals, and to contribute their own ideas, for improving law and practice so that our systems for dealing with all forms of family violence are approachable, effective and easy to navigate'. "