Strategies to improve information sharing

Information sharing protocols and MOUs

30.186 The NSW Ombudsman has noted that it is:

important to recognise that the formal arrangements being developed in relation to information exchange present only part of the challenge. Both government and non-government agencies alike need to appreciate that effective child protection practice is contingent on agencies understanding the need to be proactive in obtaining information from other agencies and in passing it on. From our review of child protection practice over a number of years we have seen an emphasis on the risks associated with the disclosure of confidential information at the expense of recognising the very significant child protection risks which can arise from the failure to pass on vital information. Therefore, while the recent legislative amendments represent an opportunity to improve practice in relation to the exchange of information, we believe this will not occur without a corresponding cultural shift that promotes information exchange as part of good child protection practice.[214]

30.187 As noted by the NSW Ombudsman, barriers to information sharing are not always legislative in character. Often the obstacles are administrative and cultural. The following section considers ways to promote a culture of effective information sharing within the legislative framework discussed above. One strategy is to put in place information sharing protocols and memorandums of understanding (MOUs) between elements in the family law, family violence and child protection systems to clarify and formalise what information can be shared, with whom, and in what circumstances.

30.188 A number of these arrangements exist in the child protection area, but they are less common in the family violence context. Western Australia has a number of protocols in place to assist with information sharing in matters involving family violence between the Family Court of Western Australia, the Magistrates Court (in particular, the specialist Family Violence Court), the Department of the Attorney-General, the Department of Corrective Services and Legal Aid Western Australia. The parties entered into the protocols in February 2009.[215]

30.189 The protocols acknowledge that ‘as far as is practicable, and permissible under the relevant statutory provisions, the parties should share and exchange information and resources in individual cases’ where to do so would assist in achieving the parties’ common commitment to protecting victims of violence and providing the best possible outcomes for children.[216]

30.190 The protocols make provision for the exchange of information between courts which share common clients. In order to ascertain the existence of a common client, officers from the Magistrates Court may access information from the Family Court of Western Australia, and officers from the Family Court of Western Australia and family consultants may access information from the Magistrates Court’s database.[217] Where a common client is established, the protocols permit, on written request, inspection of the relevant court records.[218] The protocols also specify processes for liaison between a family consultant in the Family Court of Western Australia and the case management coordinator in the Family Violence Court.[219]

30.191 Where a family violence service worker (employed by the
Attorney-General’s Department) is concerned that a child who is the subject of parenting order proceedings in the Family Court of Western Australia may be at risk, the worker may advise the family consultant that there is information or documentation available that may be relevant to the assessment of risk for the child.[220] Further, where a family violence service worker has referred a client to the Family Court of Western Australia to file applications for parenting orders, or becomes aware that such an application is likely to be filed, the worker must notify the court that the service has information that may be of use to the court. The judicial officer dealing with the file may then make appropriate inquiries with the service and request any relevant information or documentation.[221]

30.192 In Tasmania—in response to police concerns about victim safety where protection orders operate alongside family court orders—a protocol has been negotiated between the police, the Magistrates Court of Tasmania and the Tasmanian Registry of the Family Court. Under the protocol, if a family court contact order poses a risk to the safety of a victim of family violence, the police prosecutor alerts the magistrate of this concern. The magistrate can suspend the order for a period of days and make a protection order. The Magistrates Court file with the grounds for suspension is transferred to the Family Court for review of the contact order within the period of suspension. A review of the Family Violence Act 2004 (Tas) by Urbis recommended that the effectiveness of this protocol be evaluated over time,[222] but no such evaluation appears to have taken place.

30.193 A number of state and territory child protection agencies have protocols or MOUs with the Family Court and the Federal Magistrates Court.[223] These govern the handling of child protection matters and are designed to ‘assist cooperation, clarify procedures and improve decision-making in cases that may occur in either or both Commonwealth, state and territory jurisdictions’.[224] Such documents ‘represent deliberate statements of policy and agreed procedures, but do not in any way change the law’.[225] The form and content of the protocols and MOUs are different in each state and territory, largely reflecting the differences in the state and territory child protection laws.[226]

30.194 The table below sets out the MOUs and protocols in place throughout Australia to facilitate the exchange of information between child protection agencies and the family law system. At the time of writing, Families South Australia and the Family Court are believed to be finalising an MOU. The Commissions also understand that the Family Court is negotiating in similar terms with the Department of Health and Human Services in Tasmania and the Victorian Department of Human Services.

Information sharing protocols and MOUs

NSW

Protocol between Legal Aid NSW and DoCS [now Community Services]—dealings with independent children’s lawyers in family law matters;

MOU between the Family Court and DoCS;

MOU between the Federal Magistrates Court (FMC) and DoCS;

Protocol between the FMC and DoCS.

Victoria

Unsigned draft[227]—although the Department of Human Services is currently in discussion with the Family Court and Victoria Legal Aid regarding dealings with independent children’s lawyers in family law matters.

Queensland

MOU between federal family courts and the Department of Child Safety.

Western Australia

MOU between the Family Court of Western Australia, Department of Child Protection and Legal Aid WA.

South Australia

Arrangements under negotiation.

Tasmania

Arrangements under negotiation.

ACT

MOU between Department of Disability, Housing and Community Services, Department of Education and Training, ACT Health and the Department of Justice and Community Safety.

Northern Territory

None.

30.195 The majority of the protocols and MOUs examined aim to meet the protective needs of children. The Western Australian MOU takes a more expansive approach and aims ‘to provide the best possible outcomes for children’.[228]

30.196 In its report in 2002, the Family Law Council noted that the principles and procedures in the existing protocols and MOUs were at times difficult to translate into practice. While the arrangements played an important role in providing better coordination between the courts exercising jurisdiction under the Family Law Act and the state and territory child protection agencies, they were not a ‘panacea for addressing all the problems associated with the interaction between the State and Federal systems concerned with the resolution of child protection concerns’.[229] Other commentators agree that the protocols are insufficient to develop a seamless connection between the state and territory child protection systems and federal family courts.[230] Higgins has observed that the mere fact that an MOU is in place does not necessarily lead to a more cooperative approach to the exchange of information.[231]

30.197 In the Consultation Paper, the Commissions proposed that there should be formal information sharing arrangements established between courts hearing protection orders, the federal family courts, police, relevant government agencies and private sector organisations.[232] In particular, the Commissions proposed that such arrangements should be established between federal family courts and child protection agencies.[233] The Commissions also asked for stakeholder feedback on the best way to ensure that these arrangements are well known and understood by the agencies and organisations involved.[234]

Submissions and consultations

30.198 In its submission, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner expressed the view that information sharing protocols and MOUs can assist with communication and coordination between federal, state and territory agencies and with relevant private sector organisations. The Office noted, however, that such arrangements do not stand alone but are tools to support good practice and can help agencies and organisations to understand their legal obligations. The Office suggested that such arrangements might include guidance on good privacy practice and complaint procedures.[235]

30.199 The Chief Justice of the Family Court and the Chief Federal Magistrate noted in their submission that protocols and MOUs are useful but they can be overlooked or misconstrued. If they are to be relied upon, it is important that resources are dedicated to promote their existence and to train staff in their use. They also require regular review.[236] A number of other stakeholders also emphasised the importance of training.[237]

30.200 The Magistrates’ Court and Children’s Court of Victoria noted that protocols and MOUs relied on relationships and goodwill in order to be effective and suggested that a national register—which included family court orders affecting children as well as family violence protection orders—would be a more effective method of sharing information. The submission noted that there is a protocol in place between the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria and the federal family courts to have family court orders faxed through upon request, although the protocol is not well established and has encountered difficulties, particularly when personnel change. The submission suggested that one way to improve communication would be to have liaison officers in each court, for example, federal family court officers in the Magistrates’ Court and the Children’s Court and vice versa.[238] A number of other stakeholders agreed that liaison officers were an important element to support such arrangements.[239]

30.201 The Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service expressed support for information sharing protocols and MOUs, noting that they should be publically available and that ongoing training was important. The submission also noted liaison officers could be responsible for providing training in relation to the information sharing arrangements.[240]

30.202 The Queensland Law Society expressed support for the existing protocol between the federal family courts and the Queensland child protection agency and noted that the arrangements around the protocol included regular meetings between the parties.[241] In a joint submission, Domestic Violence Victoria and others suggested that it was important that such arrangements sit within a broader model of integrated services.[242]

30.203 In its submission, the Tasmanian Department of Premier and Cabinet noted that, anecdotally, the Tasmanian protocol is not often used, suggesting that this was perhaps because family violence matters come before the courts soon after the breakdown of a relationship and before there are federal family court orders in place.[243]

30.204 National Legal Aid stated in relation to the Western Australian MOUs:

These memoranda of understanding are working well, particularly with respect to the Family Court’s access to information from [the Department of Child Protection] and the Magistrates Courts database. DCP 86 now has an officer permanently located at the Family Court of WA to facilitate the information sharing process.[244]

Commissions’ views

30.205 There is some evidence from stakeholders that information-sharing protocols and MOUs between the courts and relevant agencies and organisations do have a valuable role to play in facilitating communication and information exchange between parties in the family law, family violence and child protection systems. However, there was also recognition that protocols and MOUs cannot stand alone and are dependent on the knowledge and involvement of officers and staff. The Commissions agree that simply putting protocols in place is not sufficient. These arrangements must be given an ongoing profile among court and agency officers; they must form the basis of an ongoing and responsive relationship between the parties and must be supported and implemented in practice. Ongoing training and liaison arrangements are also essential to ensure that the protocols and MOUs are actively and effectively implemented.

30.206 At present, there are few information-sharing protocols in the context of family violence. In the Commissions’ view, there would be value in developing formal information sharing arrangements between the state and territory courts, the federal family courts, police and other agencies in relation to family violence matters. It may also be appropriate to include non-government organisations such as family violence support workers in any such arrangements. The development of information-sharing protocols in the context of family violence is consistent with the views expressed in Time for Action.

30.207 Above, the Commissions recommend that federal family courts and state and territory child protection agencies develop protocols that include procedures for dealing with requests for documents and information under s 69ZW and for responding to subpoenas issued by federal family courts.[245] The Commissions note that the federal family courts already have formal information sharing arrangements in place with child protection agencies in a number of jurisdictions and that negotiations are under way in several others. Stakeholders expressed a level of support for these arrangements and the Commissions are of the view that it would be of value to put protocols in place in every jurisdiction. The Commissions again emphasise that it will be necessary to ensure that the parties to the information sharing protocols receive ongoing training to ensure that the arrangements are well known and understood and that the protocol arrangements are effectively implemented.

Recommendation 30–16 Federal family courts, state and territory magistrates courts, police, and relevant government agencies should develop protocols for the exchange of information in relation to family violence matters. Parties to such protocols should receive regular training to ensure that the arrangements are effectively implemented.

Recommendation 30–17 Federal family courts and state and territory child protection agencies should develop protocols for the exchange of information in those jurisdictions that do not yet have such arrangements in place. Parties to such protocols should receive regular training to ensure that the arrangements are effectively implemented.

A national register

30.208 The capacity for family violence protection orders to be enforced across jurisdictions is essential to the safety of victims. The Australian Government Solicitor noted, in a background paper to Time for Action, that:

This is especially so given that it is not uncommon for victims to move interstate (or to move from New Zealand to Australia or vice versa) in order to escape violent relationships. People who have obtained a protection order may also relocate for other reasons, for example, to be closer to their extended family or to seek employment.[246]

30.209 Currently, a protection order that has been obtained in one state or territory is not automatically enforceable in another state or territory. Rather, the victim of family violence or some other person must register the ‘external protection order’ in the second jurisdiction.[247] Registration is essentially an administrative process; however, there are some differences between jurisdictions with respect to the types of orders that are capable of registration, provisions for notification of the person against whom the order has been made, and duration for which the external protection order is in force. In some jurisdictions—including NSW, Queensland, Tasmania and the Northern Territory—a court may vary an external protection order before registration.

30.210 Family violence legislation in Victoria, Western Australia, the ACT and the Northern Territory provides that if the court registers an external protection order, the court or registrar is to provide notice of the registration to the court that made the order (the original court). In Victoria and the ACT, the court must also provide the original court with notice of any variation to the original order. The ACT is the only jurisdiction that also provides for feedback from the original court to a court which has registered a protection order made in the ACT—if an ACT court has been notified by an external court that it has registered an ACT protection order, the ACT court must notify the external court if it revokes or varies the order.[248]

30.211 Although every state and territory makes provision for the registration of external protection orders, the question of establishing a centralised national scheme has been considered on a number of occasions. In 1999, the Domestic Violence Legislation Working Group expressed the view that a national registration scheme, supported by a single register, would streamline and simplify inter-jurisdictional registration, and would enable protection orders:

[to] attain immediate and true nationwide portability and provide needed protection to the victims of domestic violence, no matter where they live in Australia.[249]

30.212 In 2009, the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS) commented favourably on the proposed scheme, noting that it was unclear why a scheme of this kind had not yet been implemented.[250]

30.213 One of the ‘immediate actions’ to which the Australian Government committed in its response to Time for Action was to work with the states and territories, through the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG), to establish a national scheme for the registration and recognition of family violence protection orders. While registration involves simply putting information on a register so that it is available to those who access the register, recognition involves allowing another jurisdiction to give effect to and enforce the order that has been registered. The Australian Government noted that the proposed scheme would allow orders to be recognised and enforced across state and territory borders.[251] A SCAG working group has been established to develop options for the national scheme.[252]

30.214 The 1999 Domestic Violence Legislation Working Group proposed a central database as the repository of the relevant information. Information entered on the database would include the names of the parties, the period for which the order had effect and the prohibitions or conditions imposed by the order. Information would also include whether the order had been extended, varied, revoked or set aside on appeal. Upon the entry of an order into the register, the order would be deemed to have been registered and to be enforceable in each state and territory.[253]

30.215 The Working Group noted the potential advantages of using CrimTrac—developed for exchanging national policing information—as the supporting database, commenting that:

CrimTrac appears to offer a vastly improved concept in national registration of orders and overcomes all of the problems associated with manual registration, such as notice to the defendant of registration, mechanical or administrative processes and costs incurred by State and Territory courts, reliability of orders and enforcement of orders.[254]

30.216 It appears that CrimTrac already includes some information about protection orders.[255] The AGS has noted that:

Our understanding is that police in all jurisdictions provide at least some information to CrimTrac about such orders for inclusion in the database, although we understand that the amount of detail provided varies significantly between jurisdictions.[256]

30.217 CrimTrac includes extensive safeguards to ensure the integrity and security of information held on its systems. Access to operational data is provided on a ‘need to know’ basis and audit logs are maintained of access to, and disclosure of, information.[257]

Extending the scope of the register

30.218 The 1999 Working Group recommendations and, from the information presently available, the Australian Government’s commitment to a national registration scheme are both limited to information about protection orders obtained under state and territory family violence legislation. A question that arises in this Inquiry is whether the register should be expanded to include other information, for example, orders and injunctions issued by the family courts and child protection orders.

30.219 In 1998, the Kearney McKenzie Report recommended that consideration should be given to establishing a central register of parenting orders made by the Family Court and protection orders made by state and territory courts. The Report recommended that this information should be accessible to judges and registrars of the Family Court, magistrates and registrars of local courts and to police.[258] A similar option for reform was set out in the Pyke Review, which suggested that a register could:

  • provide ready and immediate access to orders made by the Family Court inconsistent with family violence orders; and registered pursuant to s 68P(3) of the Family Law Act; and

  • ensure that orders made in each of the State Courts, Supreme Court, District Court, Magistrates Court and Youth Court in family violence matters and child protection proceedings are immediately available on the database of each Court and immediately available to the Police.[259]

30.220 There may also be scope for a national register to include other types of information, such as undertakings entered into by a person requesting that a child be returned to Australia under the Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Convention).[260] An overseas court can grant such a request on the condition that the person requesting the child’s return enters into an undertaking of non-molestation. The Full Court of the Family Court has noted that:

If undertakings are to be given, it is important to make sure they can be enforced … There does not appear to be any existing mechanism by which the Court that extracts the undertaking can ensure that it is complied with. There does not appear to be any legal basis upon which the Court of the State in which the child has been returned, can require compliance with an undertaking given to another court.[261]

30.221 In the Consultation Paper, the Commissions proposed that the national register should include protection orders made under state and territory family violence legislation as well as orders and injunctions made under the Family Law Act. The Commissions also proposed that the information be available to federal, state and territory police officers, federal family courts, and state and territory courts that hear protection order proceedings.[262] In addition the Commissions asked whether there was any other information that should be included on the register and whether there were any other persons who should have access to the register.[263]

Submissions and consultations

30.222 The proposal for the establishment of a national register received support from a significant number of stakeholders.[264] The Domestic Violence Prevention Council (ACT) noted that the register should include interim, as well as final, orders and that the system should ‘allow for the real time interrogation by courts and law enforcement to assist in decision making and policing responses’. The Council also suggested that the register should contain information on breach of orders.[265] The Magistrates’ and Children’s Court of Victoria also suggested that the register should include information relating to ‘the contravention of intervention orders’.[266]

30.223 Similarly, the Law Council of Australia submitted:

The database should also include pending charges and criminal convictions with respect to family violence or child abuse if possible or practicable. Otherwise this would require the information being obtained from a number of state-based criminal databases.[267]

30.224 A number of submissions suggested that child protection orders should be included in the national register.[268] The National Abuse Free Contact Campaign, for example, submitted that:

It is our experience that in many instances, information in regard to child protection issues are not shared or made use of in determinations of the family law system. It is our view that child protection agencies and children’s courts should not only have access to such a database, but that any orders made by children’s court, or matters involved in child protection agencies should also be included on the national database.[269]

30.225 Other submissions argued that it is important for non-government organisations, women and children’s legal and non-legal support workers, and—subject to safeguards—independent children’s lawyers who have been appointed under the Family Law Act to be included among those parties able to utilise the register.[270] One stakeholder suggested that schools should be able to access the register in order to provide appropriate protection for pupils.[271]

30.226 However, a number of submissions expressed reservations about expanding the register to include Family Law Act orders and injunctions. The Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service submitted:

There is also a question around the usefulness of the amalgamation of family violence protection orders and injunction orders made under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth) in Victoria for the simple fact that injunction orders aren’t used by VALS (and presumably others) because they aren’t enforceable. Victoria Police do not act on Family Law matters. Therefore intervention orders are used instead.[272]

30.227 The Queensland Law Society also expressed concern about including orders made under the Family Law Act, noting the wide range of orders that can be made in relation to matters such as property settlement and child support.[273]

30.228 Submissions also highlighted the need for any national register to adequately consider privacy and security concerns.[274] The Office of the Privacy Commissioner argued that any proposal to create a national register needs to be accompanied by a comprehensive privacy framework that includes: designing systems architecture and the parameters governing information collection, flows and consent mechanisms; data security measures; legislative measures in relation to who can access the register and for what purpose; and oversight mechanisms including the provisions for audit and complaint handling. The Office also encouraged the undertaking of a privacy impact assessment (PIA) as part of developing a national register of this kind.[275]

Commissions’ views

30.229 The Australian Government has committed to the development of a national scheme for the registration and recognition of family violence protection orders. The Commissions are of the view that this is an excellent development that should be supported as a constructive step towards improving the protection available for victims of family violence. It will allow victims of family violence to move seamlessly from one jurisdiction to another without the need to take action to register a family violence order in the second jurisdiction. It will also help to ensure that police in the second jurisdiction are aware of the existence of the order.

30.230 The Commissions agree with the Domestic Violence Prevention Council (ACT) that the scheme should include interim, as well as final, orders. The Commissions are also of the view that the scheme should include police-issued orders. Interim and police orders are often issued to address acute family violence situations and it would leave a gap in the system if these critical orders were not included.

30.231 In the Commission’s view, a national register of this kind also provides an opportunity for a formalised exchange of information relevant to proceedings involving family violence more broadly. While the initial proposal is to include information about family violence protection orders, in the Commissions’ view there is scope to extend the ambit of the register to include, for example, child protection orders made under state and territory child protection legislation, and information about parenting orders and family violence related injunctions made under the Family Law Act. The Commissions agree that it will not be necessary to include all federal family court orders on the register, but only those that are relevant to family violence and child protection proceedings in the state and territory courts.

30.232 The Commissions are also of the view that the Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department—as the Central Authority for the Hague Convention—should give future consideration to including conditions and non-molestation undertakings made in Hague Convention cases on the national register. While registration would not affect the enforceability of undertakings and conditions, it would ensure that police officers, state and territory courts, and federal family courts are aware that they exist, and may take them into consideration, where appropriate, in protection order or parenting proceedings.

30.233 Throughout the course of this Inquiry, the Commissions have heard about the problems that arise because of the gaps in information flow between the family law system, the family violence system and the child protection system. In this chapter the Commissions have made a number of recommendations to improve information flows including: clarifying initiating application forms;[276] amending legislation that regulates the disclosure of information in relation to parenting orders, family violence orders and child protection orders;[277] providing state and territory courts with access to the Commonwealth Courts Portal[278] and establishing information sharing protocols and MOUs between courts, agencies and organisations working in these areas.[279]

30.234 The Commissions’ view is, however, that a central register including information about family violence orders, child protection orders and related federal family court orders would be a more efficient and effective mechanism to ensure that the various systems are aware of orders and proceedings relating to the same family. It would be a significant step towards closing the information gaps between the systems and improving the protection provided for victims of family violence. It will help to ensure that courts and agencies have access to the full range of orders applying in any particular case, and is likely to lead to more consistent decision making across the jurisdictions. In developing the register, further consideration could also be given to including information about criminal convictions for family violence related offences and breach of the relevant orders.

30.235 The Commissions note that the proposed national register is being established, not only to register family violence orders, but also to allow inter-jurisdictional enforcement of the orders. In the Commissions’ view, many of the arguments relating to the automatic registration and recognition of family violence orders in other jurisdictions, might also be made in relation to child protection orders and it would be sensible to extend the registration and recognition arrangements to include them.

30.236 A related issue is the persons and entities that may access information on the national register. The Commissions’ view is that—at a minimum—access should be available to federal family courts, state and territory courts that hear protection order and child protection order proceedings, child protection agencies and the police. The Commissions do not have sufficient information in relation to allowing private sector individuals and organisations to have access to the register and so do not make a recommendation on this point.

30.237 The Commissions note that privacy and security concerns mean that access to such data should be restricted to a ‘need to know’ basis. Current safeguards in CrimTrac, such as audit logs, should also apply. The Commissions agree with the Office of the Privacy Commissioner that a national register of this kind needs to be accompanied by a comprehensive privacy framework and recommend that a PIA be prepared as part of developing the register.

Recommendation 30–18 A national register should be established. At a minimum, information on the register should:

(a) include interim, final and police-issued protection orders made under state and territory family violence legislation; child protection orders made under state and territory child protection legislation; and related orders and injunctions made under the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth); and

(b) be available to federal, state and territory police, federal family courts, state and territory courts that hear matters related to family violence and child protection, and child protection agencies.

Recommendation 30–19 The national register recommended in Rec 30–18 should be underpinned by a comprehensive privacy framework and a privacy impact assessment should be prepared as part of developing the register.

[214] NSW Ombudsman, The Death of Dean Shillingsworth: Critical Challenges in the Context of Reforms to the Child Protection System (2009), 15.

[215] Family Court of Western Australia and others, Information Sharing Protocols between the Family Court of Western Australia, Magistrates Court of Western Australia, Department of the Attorney-General, Department of Corrective Services and Legal Aid Western Australia in Matters Involving Family Violence (2009).

[216] Ibid, cls 1.2.1, 1.2.2.

[217] Ibid, cl 2.2.

[218] Ibid, cl 2.3.

[219] Ibid, cl 3.1.

[220] Ibid, cl 4.1.1.

[221] Ibid, cl 4.2.

[222] Urbis, Review of the Family Violence Act 2004 (2008), prepared for the Department of Justice (Tas), [3.5].

[223] Family Court of Australia, Protocol between the Family Court of Australia and the NSW Department of Community Services (2005); Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia and the NSW Department of Community Services (2007); Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, Protocol between the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia and the NSW Department of Community Services (2009); Family Court of Australia, Protocol between the Department of Child Safety Queensland, the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia (2007); Memorandum of Understanding between the Family Court of Western Australia, the Department for Child Protection, Legal Aid Western Australia (2008).

[224] Family Law Council, The Best Interests of the Child? The Interaction of Public and Private Law in Australia—Discussion Paper (2000), [3.13].

[225] R Chisholm, The Child Protection–Family Law Interface (2009), 41.

[226] See D Higgins, Cooperation and Coordination: An Evaluation of the Family Court of Australia’s Magellan Case-Management Model (2007), prepared for the Family Court of Australia, 156.

[227] Protocol between Victorian Department of Human Services and Family Court of Australia (unsigned, dated 19 April 1995).

[228] Family Court of Western Australia and others, Information Sharing Protocols between the Family Court of Western Australia, Magistrates Court of Western Australia, Department of the Attorney-General, Department of Corrective Services and Legal Aid Western Australia in Matters Involving Family Violence (2009).

[229] Family Law Council, Family Law and Child Protection: Final Report (2002), [2.20].

[230] T Brown, R Sheehan, M Frederico and L Hewitt, Resolving Family Violence to Children: An Evaluation of Project Magellan (2001), 49.

[231] D Higgins, Cooperation and Coordination: An Evaluation of the Family Court of Australia’s Magellan Case-Management Model (2007), prepared for the Family Court of Australia, 137–141.

[232] Consultation Paper, Proposal 10–14.

[233] Ibid, Proposal 14–3.

[234] Ibid, Question 14–14.

[235] Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Submission FV 147, 24 June 2010.

[236] D Bryant, Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and J Pascoe, Chief Federal Magistrate of the Federal Magistrates Court of Australia, Submission FV 168, 25 June 2010.

[237] Women’s Legal Service Queensland, Submission FV 185, 25 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 184, 25 June 2010; Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria, Submission FV 173, 25 June 2010; C Humphreys, Submission FV 131, 21 June 2010.

[238] Magistrates’ Court and the Children’s Court of Victoria, Submission FV 220, 1 July 2010.

[239] Queensland Law Society, Submission FV 178, 25 June 2010; Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria, Submission FV 173, 25 June 2010.

[240] Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria, Submission FV 173, 25 June 2010.

[241] Queensland Law Society, Submission FV 178, 25 June 2010.

[242] Domestic Violence Victoria, Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, Victorian Women with Disabilities Network, Submission FV 146, 24 June 2010.

[243] Department of Premier and Cabinet (Tas), Submission FV 236, 20 July 2010.

[244] National Legal Aid, Submission FV 232, 15 July 2010.

[245] Rec 30–5.

[246] Australian Government Solicitor, Domestic Violence Laws in Australia (2009), [3.4.1].

[247] The one exception is the Northern Territory, where a police officer can enforce a protection order if the officer ‘reasonably believes a person in the Territory is a defendant named in an unregistered external order’. The police officer must, as soon as possible, make a declaration to the Commissioner of Police stating the belief and the grounds for belief: Domestic and Family Violence Act 2007 (NT) pt 3.4.

[248]Domestic Violence and Protection Orders Act 2008 (ACT) s 109.

[249] Domestic Violence Legislation Working Group, Model Domestic Violence Laws (1999), 169.

[250] Australian Government Solicitor, Domestic Violence Laws in Australia (2009), [3.4.11].

[251] Australian Government, The National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women: Immediate Government Actions (2009), 5.

[252] Ibid, 12.

[253] Domestic Violence Legislation Working Group, Model Domestic Violence Laws (1999), pt 3 div 1.

[254] Ibid, 169.

[255] CrimTrac, Police Information <www.crimtrac.gov.au/police_information/index.html> at 12 March 2010.

[256] Australian Government Solicitor, Domestic Violence Laws in Australia (2009), [3.4.9].

[257] CrimTrac, Police Information <www.crimtrac.gov.au/police_information/index.html> at 12 March 2010.

[258] Kearney McKenzie & Associates, Review of Division 11 (1998), 29. The Kearney McKenzie Report predates the establishment of the Federal Magistrates Court, so contact orders made by this court are not listed as orders which should be included in the database.

[259] M Pyke, South Australian Domestic Violence Laws: Discussion and Options for Reform (2007), 137.

[260] The Hague Convention is discussed in Ch 17.

[261]Police Commissioner of South Australia v Temple [No 2] (1993) 114 FLR 148, [35].

[262] Consultation Paper, Proposal 10–15.

[263] Ibid, Question 10–21.

[264] Department of Premier and Cabinet (Tas), Submission FV 236, 20 July 2010; National Legal Aid, Submission FV 232, 15 July 2010; Queensland Government, Submission FV 229, 14 July 2010; Women’s Legal Services Australia, Submission FV 225, 6 July 2010; Magistrates’ Court and the Children’s Court of Victoria, Submission FV 220, 1 July 2010; Legal Aid NSW, Submission FV 219, 1 July 2010; National Abuse Free Contact Campaign, Submission FV 196, 26 June 2010; Women’s Legal Service Victoria, Submission FV 189, 25 June 2010; J Stubbs, Submission FV 186, 25 June 2010; Women’s Legal Service Queensland, Submission FV 185, 25 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 184, 25 June 2010; Law Council of Australia, Submission FV 180, 25 June 2010; Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Co-operative Ltd, Submission FV 179, 25 June 2010; Queensland Law Society, Submission FV 178, 25 June 2010; Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention and Legal Service Victoria, Submission FV 173, 25 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 171, 25 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 164, 25 June 2010; Berry Street Inc, Submission FV 163, 25 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 162, 25 June 2010; UnitingCare Children Young People and Families, Submission FV 151, 24 June 2010; Justice for Children, Submission FV 148, 24 June 2010; Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Submission FV 147, 24 June 2010; Domestic Violence Victoria, Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, Victorian Women with Disabilities Network, Submission FV 146, 24 June 2010; National Council of Single Mothers and their Children Inc, Submission FV 144, 24 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 130, 21 June 2010; N Ross, Submission FV 129, 21 June 2010; Domestic Violence Prevention Council (ACT), Submission FV 124, 18 June 2010; T Searle, Submission FV 108, 2 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 105, 6 June 2010; Local Court of NSW, Submission FV 101, 4 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 82, 2 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 71, 1 June 2010; C Pragnell, Submission FV 70, 2 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 69, 2 June 2010; Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service Network, Submission FV 46, 24 May 2010; M Condon, Submission FV 45, 18 May 2010; National Peak Body for Safety and Protection of Parents and Children, Submission FV 18, 13 January 2010.

[265] Domestic Violence Prevention Council (ACT), Submission FV 124, 18 June 2010.

[266] Magistrates’ Court and the Children’s Court of Victoria, Submission FV 220, 1 July 2010.

[267] Law Council of Australia, Submission FV 180, 25 June 2010.

[268] Magistrates’ Court and the Children’s Court of Victoria, Submission FV 220, 1 July 2010; Legal Aid NSW, Submission FV 219, 1 July 2010; National Abuse Free Contact Campaign, Submission FV 196, 26 June 2010; Confidential, Submission FV 184, 25 June 2010; Law Council of Australia, Submission FV 180, 25 June 2010; Berry Street Inc, Submission FV 163, 25 June 2010; National Council of Single Mothers and their Children Inc, Submission FV 144, 24 June 2010.

[269] National Abuse Free Contact Campaign, Submission FV 196, 26 June 2010.

[270] Queensland Law Society, Submission FV 178, 25 June 2010; Domestic Violence Victoria, Federation of Community Legal Centres Victoria, Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria, Victorian Women with Disabilities Network, Submission FV 146, 24 June 2010; Women’s Domestic Violence Court Advocacy Service Network, Submission FV 46, 24 May 2010.

[271] Confidential, Submission FV 69, 2 June 2010.

[272] Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Co-operative Ltd, Submission FV 179, 25 June 2010.

[273] Queensland Law Society, Submission FV 178, 25 June 2010.

[274] Queensland Government, Submission FV 229, 14 July 2010; Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service Co-operative Ltd, Submission FV 179, 25 June 2010; Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Submission FV 147, 24 June 2010.

[275] Office of the Privacy Commissioner, Submission FV 147, 24 June 2010.

[276] Recs 30–1 and 30–2.

[277] Recs 30–3, 30–4, 30–9, 30–10, 30–11, 30–12, 30–13.

[278] Rec 30–8.

[279] Recs 30–16 and 30–17.