Commonwealth announces National Family Violence Bench Book

On 9 June 2015, Attorney-General, Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women, Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash, announced that work has commenced on a National Family Violence Bench Book, to be made available from June 2017.

The Bench Book will be a comprehensive online tool for judges across Australia to promote best practice and consistency in judicial decision making in cases involving family violence. It will cover civil and criminal laws in federal, state and territory jurisdictions, and will complement efforts under the National Plan to Reduce Violence against Women and their Children 2010-2022.

The Bench Book is being developed by the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration, in partnership with the University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law. An expert advisory group, including judges, legal practitioners and academics will inform the content.

The Bench Book implements a recommendation of the Australian Law Reform Commission and the New South Wales Law Reform Commission in their 2010 Report, Family Violence – A National Legal Response.