Holding Them Accountable – Publishing details of Domestic Violence proceedings

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Naming and shaming perpetrators of domestic violence has become an increasing trend as social awareness increases around the seriousness of domestic violence and its impact on victims, their families and the wider community.

This trend has been fueled by social media and the speed at which information can be communicated and published to wide cross sections of the community with a click of a button.

However before you take it upon yourself to hold someone accountable for wrongs you believe have been committed, consider this…

Section 159 of the Domestic and Family Protection Act 2012 (QLD) makes it a criminal offence to publish;

  • Information given in evidence in a proceeding under the Act in a Court; or
  • Information that identifies, or is likely to lead to the identification of a person as-
    1. i) A party to a proceeding under the Act; or
    2. ii) Witness in a proceeding under the Act.

This means, despite any feelings you may have to the contrary, you are prohibited by law from sending, communicating, posting or causing material to be sent, communicated or posted to any other person that relates to domestic violence proceedings. This section specifically relates to material that contains evidence used in Court or that identifies any of the parties to the proceedings (including the Respondent).

The following are examples of the types of conduct that are prohibited by the Act. You may not communicate material that is likely to identify a party to the proceedings or that contains evidence used in the proceedings by;

  1. Written or electronic mail, notes, correspondence, notices or other written communication;
  2. Visual representations including posters or signage;
  3. Verbally communicate the information to another personally;
  4. Audio/visual recordings or broadcasts, including, but not limited to podcasts, vlogs, radio, youtube, audio message, or television;
  5. Social media message, post, broadcast, update or image.

A Domestic Violence Protection Order is not a criminal conviction against the alleged perpetrator it is a Civil Order. However, Under the Act, the conduct mentioned above is a criminal offence and is punishable by a maximum of 100 penalty units or 2 years imprisonment.

For more information regarding the publication of domestic violence related material or about domestic violence proceedings generally

Please contact our Business Development Team on 07 3252 0011 to arrange an appointment with one of our Family Lawyers today.