National DVO scheme on its way

All domestic violence orders (DVOs) issued (interim and final orders) from 25 November 2017 will be nationally recognised.

This will enable police and courts to enforce a DVO regardless of the state or territory that issued the original order. Courts will also have the authority to vary any nationally recognised DVO regardless of which state or territory issued it.

In December 2015, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) agreed each state and territory would introduce model laws to automatically recognise and enforce DVOs across Australia, including New Zealand orders registered in Australia.

The 25 November 2017 commencement date is also the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (White Ribbon Day).

The scheme means:

  • all DVOs issued before 25 November 2017, with the exception of Victorian DVOs (legislation applied retrospectively), will not be automatically recognised as national DVOs and therefore the conditions cannot be enforced nor can the order be varied
  • you can apply to have an existing DVO declared a ‘nationally recognised DVO’ by a court in any jurisdiction
  • individuals should have an existing order declared where they are likely to be travelling to another Australian state or territory
  • perpetrators who breach the conditions of a nationally recognised DVO will be subject to any penalties set by the jurisdiction that prosecutes the breach, and the level of penalty may vary from that of the original issuing jurisdiction
  • DVOs issued in New Zealand are not automatically recognised under the NDVOS, however these orders can be registered by an Australian court as a ‘nationally recognised DVO’.