Dan Rogers, Legal Director at Robertson O’Gorman, delivered a presentation at the QLS & FLPA Family Law Residential 2017. He addressed the blurred line between criminal and family law and the importance for practitioners to be aware of the growing crossover between the practice areas.

Domestic violence has always existed. But in the past 5 years, it has assumed unprecedented focus in our community. As a result of various reports and increased media attention, there have been numerous legislative changes of both domestic violence and criminal laws. There is a growing number of crossovers between family and criminal law.

To keep informed of the legislative changes and their impacts, it is extremely important for practitioners to be aware of the legal tools available to them. It should be noted that the Law Society and other organisations are increasingly publishing guidelines to assist practitioners and judicial officers in the application of the law.

The second stage of the comprehensive and detailed National Domestic and Family Violence Bench book was recently released. That resource was developed to bring together key cases and legislation from across Australia. Importantly, it addresses several of the key crossovers between criminal and family law. It can be accessed freely online here.

Another resource recommended by Mr Rogers is the Queensland Law Handbook. Produced by Caxton Legal Centre, the resource provides an overview of criminal law issues written by magistrates, barristers and accredited specialists. The resource is freely available online here.

During his presentation, Mr Rogers addressed the most frequently asked questions by family lawyers to the solicitors at Robertson O’Gorman, namely:

  1. Should you client consent to a domestic violence order?
  2. The other side has brought a domestic violence application – it’s obviously a strategic move. Will the Court recognise this?
  3. Should a cross application be brought?
  4. What are some options to resolve a DV matter?
  5. What are the consequences of a protection order being made?
  6. Is a breach proceeding a serious charge?
  7. My client faces a police application for a protection order. Is this serious?
  8. What are the consequences of a criminal conviction?
  9. The police are at my client’s door – what do I do?

Practitioners from all areas of law should be conscious of the impact their decisions will have on parallel proceedings in other jurisdictions. To avoid blind spots and adverse outcomes for clients, a strong and reliable relationship for referrals and cross-advice should be a priority for every law firm.

Robertson O’Gorman Solicitors specialise in domestic violence and criminal law. For assistance, call us today on 3034 0000.