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Magistrates' Court make considerations for each court on family violence matters


Who is leading the change

  • Court Services Victoria

The Magistrates’ Court of Victoria consider for each court:

  • capping lists of family violence matters at a level that allows magistrates enough time to hear each matter
  • staggering family violence lists to provide greater guidance to parties as to when cases will be heard
  • increasing the number of days dedicated to listing family violence matters
  • introducing benchmarks for the maximum amount of time parties should wait for a listed family violence matter to be heard
  • The Magistrates’ Court is working to make courts safer and less traumatic for victim survivors by developing innovative approaches to improve the court experience.

    Work on this recommendation involves engaging with key stakeholders to explore the capping of lists. The Magistrates’ Court is aware that capping lists is essential to a specialist therapeutic approach to family violence, and this practice will be a key component of the expansion of specialist family violence courts.

    The other components of this recommendation will be considered as part of the expansion of specialist family violence courts. The Magistrates’ Court will undertake a consultation or co-design process to progress their implementation.

  • The Magistrates’ Court have reviewed how matters are listed in the court for hearing (staggered listings) and how many matters can be listed for hearing on any given day (capping and benchmark listings). The Magistrates’ Court already uses staggered listings to help courts manage the demand of family violence lists and to try and reduce the time court users must spend at court.

    An internal review of the specialist courts in 2016 considered the demand of family violence on the Court and used this to establish benchmark listings of 35 matters per court per day. The benchmark for a maximum number of cases has been established as part of the Specialist Family Violence Courts (SFVC) model and be will incorporated as the five SFVC sites are rolled-out across Victoria. The five SFVC sites will be in Shepparton, Ballarat, Moorabbin, Heidelberg and Frankston.

    The capping of family violence listings has been trialled at Broadmeadows Magistrates’ Court. Capping of lists will be introduced at other court venues subject to capacity of each location.

  • Implemented.

Reviewed 17 May 2020

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