Committee says giving judges more information about defendants will help protect victims of family violence

26 Aug 2015 | Family Violence Death Review Committee

The Family Violence Death Review Committee (FVDRC) welcomes the introduction of a pilot that will see some judges receiving a report that has details of all family violence incidents involving a defendant. The FVDRC is an independent committee that reviews and advises the Health Quality & Safety Commission on how to prevent family violence and reduce the number of family violence deaths.

FVDRC Chair, Associate Professor Julia Tolmie, says the new family violence summary report available to judges taking part in the pilot will help protect victims from further harm.

“Giving judges information about a defendant’s pattern of behaviour enables them to make safer bail decisions, as they will be aware of their Police family violence history. We know family violence is more likely to be a pattern of behaviour than a one-off incident, so it is very important judges have this information to factor into their bail decisions.”

Provision of better information about a defendant’s family violence history was recommended by the FVDRC in its fourth annual report.

“Victim safety and protection should always be a paramount consideration and it is very pleasing to see the Ministry of Justice, New Zealand Police and judiciary working in partnership to develop the family violence summary report.”

Last updated 03/09/2015