Proposed Changes to the Domestic Violence Act 1995
Thu 12 Jun 2008
Following the Review of the Domestic Violence Act Discussion Paper released last year, the Justice Minister Annette King recently announced a ...
Following the Review of the Domestic Violence Act Discussion Paper released last year, the Justice Minister Annette King recently announced a number of proposed changes to Act. The key proposals from the review are: • Police issued on the spot short-term safety orders. • Strengthening the penalty system associated with the offences relating to breach of protection orders. • Providing victims of domestic violence with more information when the court declines applications for protection orders. • Requiring the Family Court to scrutinise more carefully applications for discharging a protection order. • Requiring the criminal courts to consider making a protection order on behalf of the victim. • Improving access to programmes for respondents, protected persons and their children. • Ensuring further consistency between the two Acts in regard to the use of lawyers for children and dealing with psychological abuse. “A Ministry of Justice review of the Domestic Violence Act 1995 and related legislation has found that the legislation is widely supported, but [some] areas were identified where the Act could be strengthened," Ms King said. A Bill is currently being drafted to incorporate the proposals, and will be introduced as soon as it is ready. The four cabinet papers relating to the proposals are available from the NZFVC Library