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Domestic violence disclosure scheme under investigation by Queensland Law Reform Commission.

By Kathy McLeish

The Queensland Government has asked its law reform body to look into the possibility of a public register for domestic violence offenders.

Queensland’s Law Reform Commission will review and investigate whether potential victims might be protected if they could find out if their current or former partner has a history of violent criminal offences.

A domestic violence disclosure scheme (DVDS) is currently being trialled in New South Wales

A DVDS was also considered — but not introduced — in Western Australia and Victoria.

The Queensland Women’s Legal Service’s Angela Lynch said the scheme would be an expensive and ineffective exercise.

“Is this worth investing in? What really is going to be the positive effect?” she asked.

She said she feared it could give people a false sense of security, because victims often do not report domestic violence.

“We know that many perpetrators of violence don’t actually have anything public or criminal action isn’t taken against them,” she said.

In Queensland, the commission has released a consultation paper and called for public submissions, which close on February 3, 2017.

“The consultation paper gives an overview of the relevant legal issues in the review, and asks a number of specific questions including whether Queensland should introduce a domestic violence disclosure scheme and if such a scheme is introduced in Queensland, how it should operate,” chairperson Justice David Jackson said.

Issues to be considered by the independent body will include whether a balance could be found between protection of victims and the aim of Australia’s criminal justice system for offenders to be rehabilitated.

This post originally appeared on ABC News.


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