Specialist Family Violence Court Policy Aims to Enhance Safety
In April, the Specialist Family Violence Courts (SFVCs) Listing Policy V2 was released.
The purpose of the SFVC Listings Policy is to establish general principles that guide the listing of family violence matters within the Court, these include:
- A consistent approach to the Court’s response to children and adults who have experienced family violence and respondents across the Court
- The centrality of risk (as expressed in the MARAM) as a guide to the Court’s policy and approach
- The whole court is a SFVC, not a single courtroom or a single magistrate
- Allowing sufficient time for matters to be determined to ensure just outcomes and the safety of court users.
During 2022, the Magistrates Court of Victoria (the Court) will deliver a specialist family violence response throughout Victoria. With the legal profession, police, and specialist family violence services, the Court will lead an integrated and collaborative response to all families before the Court.
This SFVC response will list family violence matters based on three mutually reinforcing elements:
- all family violence matters will receive a specialist family violence response
- related family violence matters should be heard together where possible
- the same magistrate should preside over matters relating to a family, where to do so promotes safety and efficient case management.
This Policy will be applied at all Headquarter Courts from 30 September 2022, with early implementation of some aspects already commenced.
If practitioners have questions about the Listings Policy, they can contact Melinda Stuart-Adams, Executive Director – Family Violence Brand, Magistrates Court of Victoria at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Source: Safe and Equal member update, 3.6.22)