Response to Report One from the Taskforce
The Women’s and Safety Justice Taskforce (the Taskforce) released its first report Hear her voice – Report One – Addressing coercive control and domestic and family violence in Queensland (Report One) in December 2021.
This report makes 89 recommendations that seek to further reform the justice and domestic and family violence (DFV) specialist service systems to ensure they keep victims safe and hold perpetrators accountable.
The Taskforce recommended the creation of a new offence to criminalise coercive control. The report made it clear that system-wide reform is required prior to the creation of this new offence.
These reforms are intended to ensure the justice system shifts to recognising and responding to DFV and coercive control as a pattern of behaviour over time in the context of a relationship.
The Queensland Government’s response to Report One
The Queensland Government considered the recommendations of Report One and on 10 May 2022 released a supporting or supporting-in-principle of all the Taskforce's 89 recommendations and work is now underway to implement them.
It is recognised that coercive control constitutes a pattern of behaviours perpetrated against a person to create a climate of fear, isolation, intimidation and humiliation. Fundamentally it is about power and control.
The first round of legislative reforms to strengthen Queensland’s response to coercive control was introduced into Parliament on 14 October 2022. The Domestic and Family Violence Protection (Combating Coercive Control) and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2022 aims to strengthen existing laws to address the patterned nature of coercive control, and limit the ability of perpetrators to further traumatise victims during the court process.
This first tranche of systemic reforms paves the way for the criminalisation of coercive control before the end of 2023.
It is clear that system-wide reform is necessary before the new offences come into effect. The Queensland Government’s approach to implementation of the recommendations is broadly consistent with sequencing proposed in the Taskforce’s 4-phase plan to prioritise actions.
The Queensland Government response focuses on the following key action areas for reform:
- systemic reforms across Queensland’s criminal justice system
- increased awareness-raising in the community and improved primary prevention
- improving domestic, family and sexual violence service system responses, specifically integrated service responses and high-risk teams, perpetrator interventions and co-response
- training, education and change management across parts of the domestic, family and sexual violence and justice system
- improvements to police responses to domestic, family and sexual violence through new and continuing initiatives to address whole-of-services transformational change
- enhancements to Queensland Courts to ensure the safety of victims
- a suite of legislative amendments
- governance, reporting and accountability mechanisms.
Read more about the Queensland Government’s response to each individual recommendation.
Independent Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police service responses to DFV
The Queensland Government’s response to Report One—as recommended by the Taskforce—includes the establishment of an Independent Commission of Inquiry into Queensland Police Service responses to domestic and family violence (the Inquiry).
The Inquiry commenced 30 May 2022, with its final report provided to government on 14 November 2022. The report was publicly released on 21 November 2022.
Please email PMOOWVP@justice.qld.gov.au for more information regarding the Queensland Government response.