30.1 A central theme of this Inquiry is ‘seamlessness’—the idea that the laws and procedures with which victims of family violence engage should work together to protect and assist them. One of the issues identified in the course of this Inquiry was that, in some circumstances, important information was not being shared among courts and agencies, and that this was having a negative impact on victims.
30.2 This chapter considers ways to improve information flow between critical elements of the family violence system, including courts, relevant government agencies and other people and institutions involved in the family violence, family law and child protection systems. These include improving the way information is collected from parties and shared between courts—including the establishment of a national register of relevant court orders—some changes to confidentiality and privacy legislation, and the development of information sharing protocols and memorandums of understanding. The intention is to avoid, as far as possible, victims falling into gaps between the various systems due to lack of relevant information.
30.3 Information sharing is one element of an integrated response to family violence. Integrated responses more generally, including inter-agency collaboration, are discussed further in Chapter 29.