Family violence and Commonwealth laws
In July 2010, following on from its first inquiry into family violence, the ALRC was asked to inquire into the treatment of family violence in Commonwealth laws (other than the Family Law Act 1975), and to identify what improvements could be made to relevant legal frameworks to protect the safety of those experiencing family violence. Specifically, the ALRC was asked to look at child support and family assistance law, immigration law, employment law, social security law and superannuation law and privacy provisions.
The Final Report, Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws—Improving Legal Frameworks (ALRC Report 117), was tabled on 7 February 2012, and launched by the Attorney-General on 8 February 2012.
The information sheets, below, illustrate how recommendations, if implemented by government, might affect various parts of the community:
- Culturally and linguistically diverse communities (CALD)
- Indigenous peoples
- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and intersex (LGBTI)
- People with disability (PWD)
The net effect of the ALRC’s recommendations will ensure:
- consistency in understanding and application of the law as a result of the adoption of a common definition of family violence;
- appropriate education and training for decision makers leading to greater consistency and fairness in decision-making of family violence claims;
- better identification of, and responses to, the disclosure of family violence, including in service delivery areas;
- a greater sense of self-agency for those experiencing family violence by being provided information about family violence responses, and being able to act with confidence that such responses will be attentive to their needs; and
- that ultimately, the safety—physical, economic and financial—of people experiencing family violence will be improved
On 17 June 2012 the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Bowen MP and the Minister for the Status of Women, Julie Collins MP, announced changes to Australia’s migration laws to help those experiencing family violence on provisional partner visas, as a partial response to the Commonwealth Family Violence Report – in particular, Recommendations 21-3 and 21-5.
Recommendation 21-3 stated that the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) should be amended to provide that an applicant can submit any form of evidence to support a non-judicially determined claim of family violence.
Recommendation 21-5 stated that the Procedures Advice Manual 3 guidelines (PAM) should be amended to provide that evidence other than from competent persons:
- may be relevant to a non-judicially determined claim of family violence; and
- is entitled to weight as is appropriate in the circumstances of the individual.
Implementation is scheduled for 24 November 2012. In the interim, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) will update policy guidelines to confirm that any evidence provided by applicants in addition to the required statutory declarations should be considered.
- Submission to the inquiry into Marriage Visa Classes – 8 March 2012
- Submission to the inquiry into the Fair Work Amendment (Better Work/Life Balance) Bill 2012 – 28 February 2012
- Submission to the Fair Work Act Review Panel – 17 February 2012
- Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws—Improving Legal Frameworks (ALRC Report 117) – 8 February 2012
- Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws—Improving Legal Frameworks (ALRC 117 Summary) – 8 February 2012
- Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws—People with Disability – 7 February 2012
- Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws—the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Community – 7 February 2012
- Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws—Indigenous Peoples – 7 February 2012
- Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws—Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Communities – 7 February 2012
- Family Violence and Commonwealth Laws (DP 76 Summary) – 19 August 2011
23 November 2012
9 February 2012
8 February 2012
8 February 2012
16 December 2011
15 December 2011
28 October 2011
7 September 2011
19 August 2011
19 August 2011