The independent commission of inquiry into Queensland Police Service (QPS) responses to domestic and family violence is now open for public submissions ahead of initial sittings scheduled for this Friday 10 June.
Respected Childrens Court President Deborah Richards has been appointed to lead the independent inquiry and has extended an invitation for written submissions from members of the public addressing issues covered within the scope of the inquiry.
Judge Richards, who has been a judge of Queensland’s District Court since 1998, said the initial sitting of the inquiry was scheduled to open in Court 17 of Brisbane’s George Street Magistrates Court at 9.30am on 10 June.
“Submissions will be accepted until 17 June 2022 and can be provided by email or post,” Judge Richards said. “We encourage those providing a submission to visit the Commission’s website for further information about the process.”
The independent commission of inquiry commenced on 30 May following a recommendation of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce report, ‘Hear her voice’.
The terms of reference task the commission to consider:
- whether there were any cultural issues identified within the QPS relating to the investigation of domestic and family violence, and if so, the extent and nature of these
- how any cultural issues identified within the QPS relating to the investigation of domestic and family violence have contributed to the overrepresentation of First Nations people in the criminal justice system
- the capability, capacity and structure of the QPS to respond to domestic and family violence, having regard to initiatives undertaken by the QPS in responses to previous reports and events
- the adequacy of the current conduct and complaints handling processes against officers to ensure community confidence in the QPS
- any other matter the commission considers relevant for consideration.
On 11 May, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the landmark inquiry had been established in response to a key recommendation of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce.
“I want to acknowledge the dedicated work of all officers in the Queensland Police Service who help women and children escape violence every day” Ms Palaszczuk said. “We know this increasingly makes up a large portion of their workload.
“However, the issues raised by survivors with the taskforce require further investigation to ensure all women feel confident they’re being listened to.”
A final report is due to the Premier, the Attorney-General and Minister for Women and the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence, and Minister for Police by 4 October 2022.