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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2016 Week 4 Hansard (7 April) . .

Page.. 1359..

Questions without notice taken on notice

Crime—domestic violence

Mr Corbell (in reply to a supplementary question by Ms Lawder on Wednesday, 17 February 2016): In 2015, the average time for a criminal charge relating to a domestic violence matter to be finalised in the ACT Family Violence Court was 116 days.

Most offences that relate to domestic violence are listed before a magistrate sitting as the Family Violence Court. If the defendant is in police custody they will be brought before the court within 24 hours of arrest. If the defendant has been granted police bail or the matter is dealt with by way of a summons, the defendant will usually be required to appear within 2-4 weeks of being bailed or within 6 weeks of the summons being issued. Once before the court, personal safety may be addressed by the defendant being remanded in custody or being released on bail subject to conditions imposed by the Magistrate. The Bail Act provides additional conditions upon those who are accused of committing domestic violence offences which go to the safety of complainants (see section 25(f) of the Bail Act).

If the defendant pleads guilty then the matter may be finalised relatively quickly. If the charges are defended then it may take a few months for the matter to be heard and finalised. Very serious offences may be committed to the Supreme Court for trial or sentence.

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