Examining Aspects of Family Violence Intervention Orders: Terms of reference

Matter initiated by the Commission pursuant to section 5(1)(b) of the Victorian Law Reform Commission Act 2000 (Vic) on 1 May 2024.


The Victorian Law Reform Commission will examine whether family violence laws should be reformed to:

1) specify a minimum default duration for final Family Violence Intervention Orders (FVIOs)

2) insert additional criteria for the variation or revocation of FVIOs.

In determining whether change to legislation and procedure is needed the Commission will have regard to:

  • A variety of data on FVIOs and practice, including data on: typical duration, quantity issued, varied, and revoked, the relationship between the incidence of family violence and duration, the case load of the courts and legal services, and the time it takes to reach a contested FVIO hearing.
  • The impact that short-term FVIOs have on victim survivors of family violence and their families, including children.
  • The impact that longer-term FVIOs would have on respondents, their families and any children, including a consideration of the adequacy of existing procedural fairness safeguards.
  • The corresponding burden on legal services and court resources that arises when victims return to court within a short period of time to seek an extension of an order.
  • Whether any procedural reform is needed in relation to decisions to order, vary, extend or revoke FVIOs.
  • Whether reform should be supported by additional legislative and practice guidance for judicial officers
  • The effectiveness of the approaches in other jurisdictions including:
    • a legislated default minimum length of time for FVIOs
    • the requirement for a judicial officer to give reasons when deviating from the specified minimum period of time
    • additional/different considerations that a respondent must meet before being able to apply to vary or revoke a FVIO (for example, the requirement to demonstrate substantial change)
    • what constitutes ‘substantial change’ in different schemes and legislative requirements to meet this threshold.
  • Any other relevant matter.
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