2.1 In undertaking inquiries the ALRC is directed to have regard to ‘Australia’s international obligations that are relevant to the matter’.[1] This chapter considers a number of international instruments that affect the issues in focus in this Inquiry, followed by an analysis of the broad policy themes relevant to the objective, as set out in the Terms of Reference, of protecting the safety of those who experience family violence.

2.2 In Family Violence—A National Legal Response, the ALRC identified a number of specific principles to provide the conceptual framework for the recommendations for reform in that Report: seamlessness, accessibility, fairness and effectiveness.[2] These have been evident as distinct themes in this Inquiry as well. Additional themes include: self-agency or autonomy, privacy and system integrity.

[1]Australian Law Reform Commission Act 1996 (Cth) s 24(1)(b).

[2] Australian Law Reform Commission and New South Wales Law Reform Commission, Family Violence—A National Legal Response, ALRC Report 114; NSWLRC Report 128 (2010), Ch 3.