Changes to the Family Law Act to Protect Victims in Court

Gavel on the tableDomestic violence by family members can inflict emotional and mental trauma upon victims. All of the trauma the victims experienced can come pouring back in court when their alleged perpetrators represent themselves and ask questions directly. Because of such a possibility, victims have refrained from outing their attackers due to fear. Fortunately, the Federal Government has recently released draft legislation that deals with such situations.

Amendments Made

Family law cases in Australia usually involve both a victim and a perpetrator representing themselves in court. As a result, the victims have to come face-to-face with their attackers and endure the questions the attackers will lodge to them. To prevent such situations, Attorney-General George Brandis revealed draft amendments to the Family Law Act.

Effects of the Changes

The amendments bar perpetrators from cross-examining their victims when they represent themselves in court. Instead of the attacker, an intermediary will be assigned to perform the cross-examination. The court can also ban direct cross-examination in other cases that involve allegations of domestic violence.

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The changes have garnered bipartisan support, yet the opposition has expressed its concerns over the amendments. A spokesman stated that, although an intermediary will be present, the attacker can still inflict some degree of trauma in indirect ways. Victims can then still be hurt. When legal representation acts on behalf of the perpetrator instead, the opposition claims that the council will be bound to ethical, professional, and court obligations.

Hire Lawyers

The amendments have been opened for public consultation until the end of August. Until the changes will be enacted, when you have experienced domestic or family violence, it will be in your best interest to approach family lawyers here in Townsville.

Although you can save more from self-representation, when such a decision places you in a precarious position in front of your perpetrator, legal representation on your part will be well worth the price. In this way, you can be protected; you gain professional and expert help, and you place yourself in a safer position to convey important evidence.