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Key developments

  • Redesigning the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme
  • NSW Land Registry Services – additional fees
  • NSW Land Registry Services – Draft Terms and Conditions
  • Changes to the pro bono target and definition
  • Rural Issues Conference
  • Interim Report of the Financial Services Royal Commission
  • Australian Law Reform Commission Inquiry into class action proceedings and third party litigation funding
  • Guidance for District Court litigation
  • Digital assets upon death or incapacity
  • Options paper for enduring powers of attorney
  • Aboriginal birth registrations

Redesigning the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme

The Criminal Law Committee contributed to a submission to the Department of Family and Community Services on a consultation paper that outlined the proposed redesign of the Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme (‘DVDS’). The DVDS enables people to find out from the NSW Police if their current or former partner has convictions for violent criminal offences.

The Law Society submitted that, in our view, the goal of preventing domestic violence and keeping victims safe would be better served through directing resources at outreach, awareness and the provision of specialist services that are appropriate to the needs of specific groups, rather than continuing the DVDS.

There is a lack of evidence that such schemes are effective in reducing the incidence of domestic and family violence, strengthening protections and support for persons at risk or improving perpetrator accountability. There was a very low uptake during the NSW pilot period, and the scheme was not cost-effective.

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