Royal Commission into Family Violence

Royal Commission into Family Violence

The Royal Commission report

In March 2016, the Royal Commission into Family Violence made 227 recommendations on how Victoria's response to family violence can be improved. Read the report on the Royal Commission website.

Implementing the Royal Commission recommendations

Victoria Legal Aid strongly supports the government’s commitment to implementing the Royal Commission’s recommendations. We are actively involved in the implementation of many of the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

Read about our response to family violence – safety, support and specialisation.

Informat​ion sharing

Recommendation 5 of the Royal Commission called for information sharing which prioritises safety, empowers survivors of family violence, and encourages both victims and perpetrators to seek help.

Victoria Legal Aid supports this recommendation and has made submissions to consultations on the proposed information sharing regime. Read our submission to the Department of Premier and Cabinet’s consultation on family violence information sharing legislation (docx, 174.99 KB) ahead of the introduction of the Family Violence Protection Amendment (Information Sharing) Act 2017.

We made a further submission to the Family Safety Victoria draft of the Ministerial Guidelines prepared to assist organisations to give effect to the new legislation. Read our Submission on the draft family violence information sharing guidelines (docx, 182.65 KB).

We have also prepared submissions on related child information sharing law reform proposals. Read our submissions at Appropriate interventions for children and young people.

Our submission to the Royal Commission

Our submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence made 35 recommendations to improve the legal response to family violence and maximise the effectiveness of legal services and court intervention to interrupt the cycle of violence.

We support a system that:

  • recognises the unique preventative role and value of family violence legal services for both applicants and respondents
  • improves the operational processes supporting the legal response to family violence
  • promotes rehabilitation where appropriate once a criminal justice response is triggered by responding to the individual circumstances of people who commit criminal offences in the context of family violence
  • provides a better response to children and young people who use violence in the home informed by the different characteristics of young people
  • delivers a response that can deal efficiently and effectively with the multiple and complex legal and non-legal needs of people and families who experience family violence
  • responds to the broader legal impacts and consequences of family violence, including underlying and related legal issues that will often needed addressing to achieve safe and lasting solutions.

For the justice system to deliver on these objectives, a greater commitment to resourcing is required. Without an injection of funding that is committed over the long term, the system will fall short of delivering on a sustainable and effective response to family violence. This includes assessing and addressing the downstream impacts for the legal assistance sector of any future changes to the system response to family violence.

Read our Submission to the Royal Commission into Family Violence (docx, 218.94 KB).

Read our other contributions to the commission

We have provided these documents to the commission

Also read the Royal Commission into Family Violence's transcripts from the public hearings, which includes appearances from our staff:

  • Leanne Sinclair on 4 August 2015
  • Helen Fatouros on 6 August
  • Nicole Rich on 7 August.

Media releases

Many miss out on critical legal help in overburdened family violence system

Victoria Legal Aid welcomes Royal Commission recommendations on expanded family violence courts.