6.1 This chapter considers the meaning of family violence in legislative schemes other than family violence laws, namely the criminal law, the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), victims’ compensation legislation and migration legislation. In particular, it considers whether it is appropriate or desirable to aim for a common understanding of what constitutes family violence across the different legislative schemes under consideration in light of the underlying policy justification for each of the legislative schemes, which are discussed in Chapter 4.

6.2 An analysis of these policy considerations reveals that while policy justifications differ, in some cases different statutory regimes share common aims. A key theme is therefore balancing the need for synergies between the definition of family violence in a particular legislative scheme and the purposes of that scheme, with the benefits that could flow from the adoption of a common interpretative framework across different legislative schemes.

6.3 The appropriateness or desirability of a commonly shared understanding of family violence across various legislative schemes is also discussed in the context of the relationship between, and interactions of, definitions of family violence in family violence legislation, the criminal law, and the Family Law Act.