Domestic violence public disclosure scheme to be referred to QLRC

Published Tuesday, 19 April, 2016 at 10:40 AM

Minister for Communities, Women and Youth, Minister for Child Safety and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

The Palaszczuk Government has considered the next stage of legislative reform in the ongoing review of the Domestic Violence Protection Act.

Yesterday Cabinet determined that the issue of whether a domestic violence disclosure scheme could strengthen the Government’s response to domestic and family violence, would be referred to the Queensland Law Reform Commission.

A public disclosure scheme would allow for a concerned person to find out if a relevant individual has a history of domestic violence.

“The introduction of a domestic violence public disclosure scheme is a highly contentious and complex issue” said Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath.

“Other jurisdictions have already considered the introduction of such a scheme and while some are trialling a scheme, others have rejected it.”

Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence Shannon Fentiman expressed her support for the referral to the QLRC as a way of ensuring careful, measured consideration given the often polarised views surrounding public disclosure schemes.

“It is important that we assess all of the social and legal dimensions of any potential scheme, particularly the impact on victims of domestic and violence, and avoid unintended consequences,” Ms Fentiman said.

“The costs and benefits of public disclosure schemes will need to be carefully balanced. The QLRC can draw on the effectiveness of the scheme currently operating in the UK, and the two year trial underway in NSW, but will also have to investigate why both the Western Australian Law Reform Commission and the Victorian Royal Commission into Family Violence recommended against the introduction of similar schemes.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s number one priority is keeping victims of domestic and family violence safe.”

The referral to the QLRC will allow for consultation to be undertaken over an appropriate length of time with stakeholders, legal experts and victims of domestic and family violence to ensure all relevant issues are considered.


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