Strengthening justice system responses
Significant reforms are underway to create a stronger justice system that prioritises victim safety, holds perpetrators to account, and ensures people impacted by domestic and family violence have access to responsive advice and are supported to participate in court processes.
On 11 March 2021, the Queensland Government announced a wide-ranging review into the experience of women across the criminal justice system to be undertaken by the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce, led by Margaret McMurdo AC.
The taskforce members include:
- Ms Tracy Linford APM, Deputy Commissioner, Queensland Police Service (QPS)
- Ms Laura Reece, Barrister-at-Law
- Ms Di Macleod, Deputy Chair, Queensland Sexual Assault Network
- Ms Gillian O’Brien, Manager, WWILD
- Ms Thelma Schwartz, Principal Legal Officer, Queensland Indigenous Family Violence Legal Service
- Professor Patrick O’Leary, Professor, Griffith University
- Ms Kelly-Ann Tansley, Manager, Brisbane Domestic Violence Service – Micah Projects
- Dr Nora Amath, Islamic Women’s Association of Australia
- Mr Philip McCarthy, QC, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions
- Ms Alexis Oxley, Solicitor, Legal Aid Queensland.
For further information about the taskforce, including how you can participate, visit www.womenstaskforce.qld.gov.au.
Key initiatives to date include:
- trialling GPS electronic monitoring in the criminal justice system for people using violence
- developed a Good Practice Resource for domestic and family violence court support workers
- establishing specialist domestic and family violence courts in Southport, Beenleigh, Townsville (with a circuit to Palm Island) and Mount Isa. Evaluation of the Specialist Domestic and Family Violence Court Trial in Southport (PDF), completed in February 2017, is now available.
- amending Queensland laws to better protect survivors and people experiencing violence and hold people who use violence to account
- enhancing support for people involved in domestic and family violence court proceedings
- expanding the domestic violence duty lawyer service
- automating information-sharing across the justice system
- enhancing awareness of court processes among survivors and people experiencing violence and people using violence
- releasing the Domestic and Family Violence Bench Book
- rolling out a statewide Vulnerable Persons Training Package to equip police with the knowledge and skills to work within the new legislative frameworks for domestic and family violence and mental health
- establishing the Domestic and Family Violence Coordinator Network
- continuing to work with Community Justice Groups to implement and deliver a domestic and family violence response for communities.
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