Specialist domestic and family violence court to operate in Brisbane
Published Saturday, 16 July, 2022 at 08:30 PM
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence
The Honourable Shannon Fentiman
A specialist domestic and family violence court will be established in Brisbane to help vulnerable Queenslanders navigate the justice system.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said the Queensland Government had committed $19.7 million over four years to roll-out the new specialist court to deal exclusively with domestic and family violence (DFV) matters.
“This model ensures victims attending court can have confidence the experience won’t further traumatise them,” Minister Fentiman said.
“It means people who experience DFV are supported through the legal system, instead of getting lost in it.”
The Attorney-General said additional funding has also been committed to upgrade the Courthouse to improve victim safety and make sure facilities are modern and functional.
“Brisbane has one of the busiest magistrates courts in Queensland, which deals with a high volume of DFV matters, so the community will benefit from this specialist service,” Minister Fentiman said.
“In 2020-21, the court dealt with almost 1,900 applications for domestic violence orders and more than 2,200 charges of contravening a domestic violence order.”
Specialist domestic and family violence courts were first trialled in Queensland in 2015 and currently operate in Southport, Beenleigh, Townsville, Mount Isa and Palm Island. A new specialist DFV court will also be established in Cairns.
“Specialist courts are shown to be effective in prioritising the safety of victims, holding perpetrators accountable and working to promote changes in attitudes and behaviour,” Minister Fentiman said.
“The Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce’s Hear Her Voice report one supported the model, recommending an expansion of the program.”
The Attorney-General said the design and operation of the Brisbane Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Court would be informed by the operations of existing specialist courts, particularly Queensland’s first permanent specialist DFV court at Southport.
“An independent evaluation of the Southport Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Court found this model is proving extremely successful,” she said.
“The measures include dedicated magistrates, specialised duty lawyers and prosecutors, as well as a skilled registry, and a range of support services which are located on site.”
Overlay footage of the specialist DFV court at Southport here.
Media contact: Clare Barnes 0497 829 747