Developments in other countries
6.70Many of the reviews undertaken by law reform bodies in other jurisdictions emphasised the need to support statutory reforms with other measures.
6.71In their joint report, the Australian and New South Wales Law Reform Commissions recommended guidance, and judicial and legal professional education and training, focused on improving the application and effectiveness of defences in the family violence context.
6.72The VLRC also made recommendations on judicial and professional legal education. This was to promote a better understanding by judges, jurors and legal representatives of the circumstances and range of reactions people might have in response to family violence.
6.73The Western Australian Law Reform Commission recommended including a section on the nature and dynamics of family violence in a “bench book” that was being commissioned to provide the state’s judiciary with reference material to assist them to deal with social and cultural issues.
6.74In New South Wales, the Select Committee on the Partial Defence of Provocation was concerned by prosecutorial practice in charging defendants with murder where there was a history of family violence against the defendant and there were defensive elements to the homicide. It recommended that the Director of Public Prosecutions include a specific guideline in the Prosecution Guidelines of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to provide clear direction to assist prosecutors to determine the appropriate charge to lay against defendants in circumstances where there is a history of violence towards the defendant.