Queensland Law Society

Queensland Law Society supports the fight against domestic and family violence

Queensland Law Society (QLS) has engaged in supporting government and community efforts to fight domestic and family violence throughout 2015. The Society is focused on ensuring that lawyers are properly equipped to deal with the legal response to domestic and family violence.

Queensland Law Society president, Michael Fitzgerald, said that the issue of domestic violence remains a focus for the Society and our community.

“It is no less important for the legal profession than it is for the wider community to help save a life or prevent violence in the home,” he said.

“For this reason and many others, the Society has been heavily engaged in delivering and supporting the implementation of the recommendations of the Queensland Government’s Special Taskforce on Domestic and Family Violence on the Not Now, Not Ever: Putting an end to domestic and family violence in Queensland report released earlier this year.

“We were pleased that all 140 recommendations of the report would be implemented, including four specific recommendations relating to the role of solicitors in the legal response to domestic and family violence.”

As a result of the report, the QLS domestic violence working group, headed up by the Society’s vice president and family law accredited specialist Deborah Awyzio, developed best practice guidelines for lawyers working with people who have experienced domestic and family violence.

“More than 50 stakeholders and specialists have been invited to comment on the draft guidelines,” she said.

Following the release of the final guidelines in 2016, suitable compulsory professional development offerings will be developed and offered to solicitors across Queensland by QLS.

QLS has also been engaged throughout 2015 in reviewing the government’s proposed new domestic violence laws to ensure they are fair and workable, including supporting greater protections for victims in court and drawing the attention of government to the practicalities of implementing those protections in courthouses across Queensland.

QLS continues to be a key sponsor of the Supreme Court Breakfast for White Ribbon Day and significant contributor to Women’s Legal Service.