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State will focus on perpetrators

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath revealed some key reform areas at a Brisbane breakfast today. Photos: Geoff McLeod

Focusing on a perpetrators program was one of the priorities for 2024 that Attorney-General Yvette D’Ath outlined at a Queensland Law Society (QLS) breakfast this morning.

Speaking to QLS Legal Policy Committee Chair’s Breakfast, Ms D’Ath not only thanked committees for their work in advocating for public policy but set out her key reform areas and the policy landscape for next year.

She said her primary focus in the domestic and family violence area would be around perpetrators.

“We’ve done so much in relation to supporting and preventing domestic and family violence and trying to lift awareness and that job will be ongoing, particularly around coercive control and helping victim survivors move away from that threat and to be able to continue on their journey of healing, but that’s saving one person,” she said.

“What we need to do is work with the perpetrator to stop the person who is yet to become a victim. To really break this cycle, we have to put a huge effort into working with the perpetrators. There needs to be a lot more work.

“I don’t want to hear stories of men voluntarily ringing the DV Connect line and saying ‘I need help. I’m concerned. I don’t want my relationship to break up but I’m really worried. I need help’.

“They’ve been put at the bottom of the list because they’re not court ordered, they’re not mandated to be in a program so they’ll have to wait. They are ones most likely to change because they are voluntarily coming to us.

“So there is a lot of work to be done and we will be the first in the country to develop a perpetrator strategy which is being developed currently.”

Ms D’Ath spoke to other areas of key reform including criminal justice and review of the Justices Act 1886.

“It is a reform I know the Queensland Law Society has long advocated for, given the age and complexity of the existing law and the central role solicitors play in this jurisdiction,” she said.

“We are very mindful of the scope and complexity of the reforms, and the imperative to get it right.

“We also recognise the ongoing need for strong and meaningful collaboration, and intend to provide opportunities for this as we develop this significant and historic legislation, and it will be significant.

“It is not just about modernising the justice system. If we want to create efficiencies in our courts, we need much more modern legislation and this is what this new legislation will do.”

She spoke about the need for digital reform and Queensland being “way behind” other jurisdictions in being paper based.

Ms D’Ath said work on the Trust Bill 2024 and Succession Act Review was also ongoing.

“I know I’ve been talking about trusts every year since I came here, but trust me … a draft of the Trust Bill which was shaped by targeted consultation this year, including the Queensland Law Society, is now circulating for public consultation. So take that opportunity to feed into the consultation process.”

QLS President Chloé Kopilović thanked councillors, chairs, deputy chairs and QLS policy solicitors for their work throughout “another transformational year”.


Committee members attended the breakfast.

“Much of the advocacy work we have undertaken this year will culminate in our Call to Parties Statement for the State election in October 2024,” she said.

Chloé noted QLS had made 214 written submissions, given evidence at 21 Parliamentary Committee public hearings and received 107 mentions in Hansard.

“Our 400-plus policy committee members on our 29 legal policy committees attended 144 committee, subcommittee and working group meetings,” she said.

“Our committee members also took part in 176 stakeholder consultations and drafted dozens of publications for Proctor, QLS Update and the media, ensuring our members have access to up-to-date news and information relevant to their practice and business.”

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