Law to be strengthened on family violence
The Turnbull government has committed to strengthening the law relating to family violence. It will make it a crime to breach personal protection injunctions issued by federal family courts, giving police the authority to immediately charge offenders for a breach instead of victims having to apply to the court for action. Victims would also be saved the cost of taking proceedings to enforce an injunction. Criminalisation is seen as putting a major deterrent into the system. Offenders who breach personal protections injunctions would face up to two years jail or a fine of more than $20,000 – or both.
The new offence is part of an exposure draft of legislative amendments to the Family Law Act, which also include enhancing the capacity of state and territory courts to handle family law matters to reduce delays. The proposed amendments address recommendations from several reports, and further action will be looked at.