Community legal centres welcome review of WA family violence laws

Community Law Australia today welcomed the West Australian Attorney-General Michael Mischin’s announcement of a comprehensive review of domestic and family violence laws.

Community Law Australia Spokesperson Carolyn Bond said that the problem of domestic and family violence was a top issue for Community Legal Centres (CLCs) around the country.

“We know that one of the major risk groups in terms of barriers to legal access is vulnerable women and children and this review represents a chance to ensure that state laws are working well,” Ms Bond said.

“Speaking with CLCs who work in the area of family violence in WA it is clear that there are some aspects of the current laws that do not allow for full access to justice for vulnerable women and children.

“Occasionally, how laws are interpreted can inadvertently impact on vulnerable people accessing the courts and being able to get the legal help they need. CLCs see the effect of laws firsthand and play an instrumental role in reporting these effects and working to achieve positive changes to the law and legal system.

“Such a review is a great opportunity to examine any gaps or barriers to access that need attention to ensure vulnerable women and children are not disadvantaged,” Ms Bond said.

Lesley Kirkwood, Managing Solicitor of The Women’s Law Centre of WA welcomed the review and commended the Attorney General’s leadership on the issue.

“While the full terms of reference have not yet been released, the Women’s Law Centre of WA welcomes the comprehensive review, as an opportunity to ensure that vulnerable women and children aren’t missing out on their rights,” Ms Kirkwood said.

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