Bill Potts comments on domestic violence issues in Queensland
Although he said the Queensland Government had managed some great results and he was aware funding only went so far, former head of the Queensland Law Society and leading criminal lawyer Bill Potts said a lack of focus on DV perpetrators could be exacerbating the issue.
“Within that DV area, while a lot of focus is on victim support and specialist courts there is a massive need for diversion programs for perpetrators,” he said.
“The great bulk of domestic violence offending occurs in circumstances that are often stress-related to money; there are often problems relating to the use of alcohol, drugs; there are often anger management issues and family breakdowns that are already occurring.
“Those need to be promptly and swiftly addressed by the court system.”
Mr Potts said in his experience, a lot of domestic violence could be headed off by family mediation.
“Legal Aid, while it has expanded its service in many areas, has not been able to properly expand services in terms of mediation in family law,” he said.
“Other issues … include a lot of people can’t afford access to legal advice, whether because of poverty or a lack of skills, so many turn to Legal Aid and the community legal centres. Unfortunately, CLCs are not properly funded.”