From 10 September 2019, personal cross-examination will be banned in family law proceedings in certain circumstances where allegations of family violence have been raised.
If any of the following circumstances apply, the ban will apply automatically:
- either party has been convicted of, or is charged with, an offence involving violence, or a threat of violence, to the other party.
- a family violence order (other than an interim order) applies to both parties.
- an injunction for the personal protection of either party is directed against the other partyunder sections 68B or 114 of the Family Law Act.
The court may use its discretion to make an order to ban personal cross-examination even if those circumstances do not apply.
The court can decide to ban personal cross-examination itself, or following an application by either party, or an independent children’s lawyer.
Read info sheet produced by the Attorney-General’s Department.
Read AIFS Report on direct cross-examination in family law matters.