3. Purposes of Laws Relevant to Family Violence

Chapter 3 of the Consultation Paper discusses the underlying policy justifications for various laws relevant to family violence. These laws include those specifically referred to in the Terms of Reference—namely family violence laws, family law and the criminal law—as well as victims’ compensation schemes and migration law.

Victims’ compensation schemes are discussed because of their particular interaction with the criminal law. The Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) are addressed because their operation impacts on a group of women who are particularly vulnerable to family violence, due to the threat of deportation, as highlighted in Time for Action.

This analysis reveals that in some cases different statutory regimes share common aims. The discussion is a prelude to the consideration of the desirability of pursuing a common interpretative framework of what constitutes family violence across the different legislative schemes under consideration—an issue which is canvassed in Chapter 4.

The discussion also serves as a general background to the discussion of specific interaction issues between family violence laws and the criminal law, and between family violence laws and the Family Law Act, which are considered in the following chapters of Part B of the Consultation Paper.

Chapter 3 is intended to provide general background information and does not contain any questions or proposals.