At Coutts Solicitors and Conveyancers, we wanted to take a
moment to make sure you're in the know when it comes to
domestic violence legislation in NSW and what it could mean for
In 2016, Parliament introduced the Crimes (Domestic and
Personal Violence) Amendment (Review) Bill 2016 [NSW] after
statutory review made recommendations for the act. The Bill aims to
widen the application of the current laws through providing further
protections to victims of domestic violence. One step to doing so
was through the amendment to the meaning of domestic relationships
which widens the criteria for those who can apply for an
Apprehended Domestic Violence Order (ADVO).
What you need to know:
Domestic relationship redefined
Two people can now be classified as having a domestic
relationship if they have both been in a domestic relationship with
the same third person. This means that person's ex-partner and
their new partner can be in a domestic relationship, even if they
Domestic violence offence
This is a personal violence offence and the meaning has been
expanded to include offences that intend to coerce or control a
person and cause them to be intimidated and/or fearful.
New parties the Bill covers
The Bill will include recognition of the particular impact
domestic violence has on Aboriginal persons, Torres Strait
Islanders, persons from culturally and linguistically diverse
backgrounds, person from gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and
intersex communities, older persons and persons with
Courts power to issue an ADVO
The court will have the power to issue an ADVO if the court is
satisfied that a person has reasonable grounds to fear that a
domestic violence offence will be committed against them. This
removes the previous requirement that in addition to having
reasonable grounds to fear, the court also had to be satisfied that
the person actually does fear an offence.
ADVO and Family Law
Any property or parenting family law orders or any pending
family law proceedings are to be disclosed and considered when an
applying for an ADVO. Because of this it is important to speak to a
family law solicitor to see how family law orders can be
The Bill prevents a defendant from questioning a child who is a
witness to the ADVO proceedings. However, the child can be
questioned by someone such as the defendant's solicitor or
another person the court finds suitable.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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