Skip to content

Archive for

20
Feb

Uncovering domestic violence; the respondent’s perspective

Ms Quentin Bryce is currently heading a State based taskforce into the responses to domestic violence. She is a remarkable woman committed to an important cause. Everyone would agree that domestic violence is a large and whole of community problem. However, as a legal representative for many respondents (or persons accused of domestic violence), I am acutely aware that the rights and liberties of individuals cannot be ignored as we tackle the problem of domestic violence. This week I presented at the Queensland Law Society on domestic violence laws. Below is a brief overview of the key points I sought to convey from the perspective of a criminal defence lawyer.

It is sometimes said, by practitioners, court support and police, that the making of a DV Order is no big deal as it is a civil order; rather than a criminal order. I don’t share this view. In RMR v Sinclair [2012] QDC 204 at [13], His Honour Judge Deveraux SC remarked that; “[t]he making of a [Protection] order is a serious matter. Orders should not be made lightly. Breaches involve, as the learned Magistrate said, community as well as personal concerns.”

A DV Order can clearly impact upon a person’s civil liberties. For example, restricting them to go certain places, see certain people, including their children, and generally their whole living situation and home environment. These are all significant matters.

Read more »

Advertisements