National Family Violence Bench Book
9 June 2015
Joint media release
Senator The Hon George Brandis QC
Minister Assisting The Prime Minister For Women
Senator The Hon Michaelia Cash
Today we announce that work has commenced on a National Family Violence Bench Book which is another Abbott Government initiative to eliminate the scourge of domestic violence.
The current prevalence of family violence in Australia is utterly unacceptable. The Abbott Government has made it a priority to protect the safety of women and children.
It is fundamental that women and their families are safe from violence in their homes and communities and we remain absolutely committed to ensuring we reduce and ultimately end domestic violence.
The Bench Book will be a comprehensive online tool for judges across Australia, covering civil and criminal laws in federal, state and territory jurisdictions. It will promote best practice and consistency in judicial decision making in cases involving family violence.
This is a significant step towards an effective, harmonised approach to family violence in our courts. We have asked the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration, in partnership with the University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law, to develop the Bench Book.
An expert advisory group, including judges, legal practitioners and academics will inform the content.
The Bench Book implements a recommendation of the Australian Law Reform Commission and the New South Wales Law Reform Commission in their 2010 Report, Family Violence— A National Legal Response. It will complement efforts under the National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women and their Children.
We thank the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration and the University of Queensland for undertaking this important work.
The Bench Book will be made available in June 2017. We look forward to it becoming Australia’s leading judicial resource on family violence in the court system.