Late last year we looked at the introduction of various DV related laws and amendments under the Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Act 2015. This legislation heralded changes such as the ability of courts to ‘signpost’ previous offences of domestic violence on an offender’s criminal history.

Another bill is currently being considered by parliament and the relevant committee – the Criminal Law (Domestic Violence) Amendment Bill (No. 2) 2015.

This second bill will seek to amend the Criminal Code, the Penalties and Sentences Act 1992 (PSA) and the Youth Justice Act 1992.

Of particular note is a new offence inserted into the Criminal Code. Section 315A will make choking, suffocation or strangulation in a domestic setting a crime. This charge would carry a maximum penalty of 7 years.

The bill also seeks to make domestic violence an aggravating factor for sentencing considerations under the PSA.

The Legal Affairs and Community Safety Committee will report to the House on this second bill by 7 March 2016

If you need any advice regarding domestic violence matters get in touch with Robertson O’Gorman on 3034 000.