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LIV supports the Law Council of Australia’s concerns regarding the operation of proposed Federal Family Violence Orders

LIV supports the Law Council of Australia’s concerns regarding the operation of proposed Federal Family Violence Orders

By LIV Media

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The Law Institute of Victoria wishes to express our support for the Law Council of Australia’s (‘LCA’) position in relation to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee’s Inquiry into the Family Law Amendment (Federal Family Violence Orders) Bill 2021 (‘the Bill’).

The LIV is pleased to note that the LCA’s position closely aligns with the submission provided to the LCA by members of the LIV Family Law Section.

The Bill is intended to provide increased protection for victim-survivors of family violence through the introduction of a Federal Family Violence Order (‘FFVO’).  Parties with parenting or property matters in the federal jurisdiction will be able to seek an FFVO against a family violence perpetrator simultaneously, instead of filing an additional protection application in a State or Territory court.

LIV Family Law Section Chair Nicky Neville-Jones said that better protection for family violence victims is welcome and always encouraged but agreed with the LCA that certain aspects of the Bill required greater clarification.

The LIV provided feedback querying the benefit of applying for an FFVO in instances where matters were not already filed in the federal jurisdiction, given that applying for an FVVO is likely more onerous, complex and costly than filing in a state court for a protection order.

“This includes clarifying the process of communication between State and Federal Courts and how in practice FFVOs will exist, given State Courts will continue to provide access to protection orders to victims in the State or Territory system,” Ms Neville-Jones said.

Further, the LIV sought clarification on whether an interim order is contemplated under the Bill, as occurs in state courts pending the making of a final order, recommending clear legislated pathways for interim protection applications to prevent the risk of family violence escalating.

Ms Neville-Jones stated that “given protecting the vulnerable must always be the main objective, communication between the different jurisdictions and clear pathways will always be of great importance.”

The LIV also expressed its concerns about the Bill’s impact on the workload of the federal courts and legal assistance bodies. 

Read the LIV’s submission here.


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