Saturday, 2 May 2009

Family Court releases Domestic Violence Best Practice Principles

The Family Court of Australia has released its Domestic Violence Best Practice Principles [pdf].

A must-read for family lawyers, and family report writers, these principles deal with how the Family Court deals with allegations of violence, including asking judges to consider when asking for family reports, to make orders that the family report writer that can include:
  • specifically address the issue of family violence or abuse
  • make an assessment of harm to the children
  • where family or domestic violence is acknowledged or established, the impact of that violence or abuse

At the final hearing, matters to be included are considerations of whether there has been controlling family violence.

Even if there have been no orders directing family report writers about domestic violence, I expect that family report writers will need to keep one eye on the guidelines in the preparation of their reports, if only to say that these were matters taken into account.

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