Queensland is enacting new legislation aimed at criminalising coercive control to combat domestic and family violence within the state. The forthcoming legislation seeks to fortify the existing legal framework addressing the systematic nature of coercive control. Queensland has demonstrated a proactive stance with the recent passage of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection (Combating Coercive Control) and Other Legislation Amendment Act 2023.

The forthcoming amendments to the legislation will:

  • Enhance the offence of unlawful stalking in the Queensland Criminal Code to comprehensively address the diverse range of tactics employed by perpetrators.
  • Expand the definition of domestic and family violence to encompass behavior that unfolds over time, emphasizing that acts of domestic violence must be considered in the context of the whole relationship.
  • Reinforce the judiciary’s response regarding cross-applications of Domestic Violence Orders, prioritizing the protection of the most in need.
  • Widen the court’s authority to award costs in civil domestic violence cases to deter the misuse of the legal process for further victimization.
  • Consider previous domestic violence or criminal history when determining the necessity for a domestic violence order.
  • Extend protection to domestic violence complainants and other witnesses under the protected witness scheme.
  • Facilitate the provision of jury directions and expert evidence on domestic violence in criminal law trials.

These amendments will significantly benefit individuals experiencing Domestic and Family violence situations.

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