The Criminal Law's Response to Domestic Violence: What's Going On?

Sydney Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 439-469, 2008

University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 08-16

32 Pages Posted: 22 Oct 2008

See all articles by Heather Douglas

Heather Douglas

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law

Date Written: October 21, 2008

Abstract

Scholars and activists have long campaigned for domestic violence to be recognised as criminal offending, however at the same time they have also consistently warned that a risk of criminalisation is that it inflicts further harm to women. This article draws on a study of criminal prosecutions of breaches of domestic violence protection orders in Queensland, Australia, and explores the process of criminal intervention in the context of domestic violence. The Queensland data discussed in this article demonstrates that the process involved in prosecuting a criminal breach often involves a minimisation of the harm inflicted on women by perpetrators, police and magistrates, a ruthless contest about the facts and numerous court appearances before resolution. Prosecutions of breaches of protection orders often result in no conviction being recorded or in trivialising fines. In conclusion this article explores whether there are shifts and changes that can be made in this area of criminal law so that it better embraces the three principles of justice that have been identified by Barbara Hudson; discursiveness, relationalism and reflectiveness.

Keywords: Crime, domestic violence, criminal procedure

JEL Classification: K14

Suggested Citation

Douglas, Heather, The Criminal Law's Response to Domestic Violence: What's Going On? (October 21, 2008). Sydney Law Review, Vol. 30, No. 3, pp. 439-469, 2008; University of Queensland TC Beirne School of Law Research Paper No. 08-16. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1287498

Heather Douglas (Contact Author)

The University of Queensland - TC Beirne School of Law ( email )

The University of Queensland
St Lucia
4072 Brisbane, Queensland 4072
Australia

Here is the Coronavirus
related research on SSRN

Paper statistics

Downloads
353
Abstract Views
2,023
rank
90,570
PlumX Metrics